If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits because you were injured while you were working, you may be wondering if you will lose your right to those benefits if you get fired from your workplace. Although you might assume that getting fired would immediately cause you to lose access to the workers’ compensation benefits that are currently provided to you, that is not true. You can continue to collect your benefits despite getting fired by your employer.
Understanding the rules of workers’ comp
An employer can fire an employee for many reasons. However, an employer cannot fire you because you are injured and out of work. If your employer is attempting to fire you while you are out of work with an injury that you sustained at work, consider speaking with an attorney regarding wrongful termination. In the meantime, however, you should continue receiving your workers’ compensation benefits.
While an employer cannot fire you for being injured, they can fire you for another reason when you are still out of work and collecting workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if the employer found out that you were not following protocol or you were not keeping up with your job duties, you may get fired. If the firing has nothing to do with the injuries, it is legal for the employer to let you go while you are still collecting your benefits. You will not lose those benefits just because you have been fired.
What to do if you get fired while collecting workers’ compensation in OK
If you find out that you have been fired by your employer while you are out on workers’ compensation, your natural reaction may be to panic. You know that you need a source of income and you are probably worried about what will happen when you can longer collect workers’ compensation. However, there are options.
You can continue to collect the compensation until your doctor believes you are healthy enough to get back to work. You should start to apply for different positions when you are healing and feeling a bit better. You can begin looking for work and then start a new job when you have fully recovered. It may be better off for you to start working at a new place, especially if you have restrictions when it comes to the kind of work you can do because of your previous workplace injuries.
It is normal to worry about losing your workers’ compensation benefits if you get fired from your job. However, you should be able to continue receiving these benefits despite your current status at the job. If you are having a difficult time receiving your benefits or if you believe you were wrongfully terminated due to your injuries, Cunningham & Mears would like to hear from you. Serving clients in Oklahoma City and throughout the state, we care about the rights of injured workers. Call us at 405-212-9234 or complete our contact form to learn more.