Can I Be Fired for Filing Workers Compensation in Florida?
One of the reasons many injured workers hesitate before filing Florida workers’ compensation claims is the fear that their employer could lash out, potentially demoting or even firing them for raising the issue. The good news is that the law protects injured workers and can be used to punish those employers who retaliate against injured employees in this way.
Common Questions About Workers’ Comp Laws in Florida
Q: Can I be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim?
A: Legally, you cannot be fired or demoted for reporting an injury or filing a workers’ compensation claim. This is called retaliatory termination by an employer and it is illegal.
Q: Why am I protected, as a worker?
A: As a worker, you are protected from retaliation from your employer because workers should not be afraid to report injuries and reveal workplace conditions that are dangerous. The goal of this law is to ensure that employers are motivated to secure the work environment from dangerous conditions rather than simply being able to terminate anyone who reports an injury or files a claim.
Q: What are the requirements of this law?
A: The law requires your employer to keep you employed during the course of your
workers’ compensation claim until you have reached the maximum medical improvement or MMI, which refers to the time when medical professionals can agree that your condition will not further improve. This law gives you the time that you need to recover from your injuries. Once you’ve reached MMI, your employer will be able to evaluate your work restrictions and will be required to accommodate those restrictions to the best of their ability.
Q: What if my employer retaliates anyway?
A: Because you are protected from retaliatory termination for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you can reach out to an attorney if you are a victim of this illegal practice. The trouble is that your employer can always choose to find another reason to fire you with the pretense that it is not related to your workers’ compensation claim. For example, they can say that you were fired for poor work performance from before the injury occurred. Do not fact this situation without an attorney to protect your rights.
It is not possible to entirely prevent all workplace accidents in Florida. However, the law does require employers to keep the workplace safe and holds employers responsible for workplace injuries. If you have been injured on the job, contact an attorney to learn more about workers’ compensation.