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Can you get fired for reporting a workplace injury?

If you sustained an injury on the job, your employer should have workers’ compensation insurance to cover the cost of medical treatment and lost wages.

However, not all employers handle a worker’s compensation claim the way they should.

What does the law say about retaliation?

The law protects the worker when reporting a workplace injury or filing a claim for workers’ compensation. An employer cannot legally fire an employee for either. However, most employers know this and will not directly tell you they terminated your employment for reporting an injury.

Instead, they may use other tactics, such as claiming to have issues with your job performance or your attitude on the job. If you have past absences, they could use that as an excuse. They can claim that it is a company issue, such as restructuring. Some excuses may be valid, but the timing is suspicious.

What if you have work restrictions?

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer must acknowledge and accept any reasonable requests for accommodation when a doctor clears you for work with restrictions. For example, if you sustained an injury on the job, you would file a workers’ compensation claim and see a doctor.

Once you meet your maximum level of improvement, your doctor may sign for you to return to work under certain restrictions if your maximum improvement is not a full recovery.

If you suspect your employer terminated you in retaliation or denied your claim or reasonable accommodations, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit.