If I File For Workers’ Compensation, Will I Lose My Job?

According to Florida Statute §440.205, it’s illegal for an employer to dismiss or threaten to dismiss an employee because they filed or attempted to file a valid workers compensation claim. The law also forbids employers from intimidating or coercing an employee for filing or attempting to file a workers comp claim.

If you need help with a workers comp case in Orlando or anywhere in Florida, contact Work Injury Rights today.

Workers Compensation in Florida

The legal framework governing workers’ compensation in Florida is found in Chapter 440 of the Florida Statutes. This covers a wide array of topics related to workers’ compensation. It provides definitions for key terms, outlines exemptions, and details employer liability and employee compensation among other things.

Workers’ compensation is an insurance mechanism that aims to safeguard the interests of employees who suffer injuries while performing their job duties. It offers two primary benefits: medical coverage for the treatment of the injury, and wage replacement for the period the employee is unable to work.

In return for these benefits, employees forfeit their right to sue their employer for negligence related to the injury.

Can You Be Fired for Filing a Workers Comp Claim?

One of the common concerns among injured workers is whether filing a workers’ compensation claim could lead to job loss.

In Florida, it’s important to note that it’s illegal for an employer to terminate an employee solely because they filed a workers’ compensation claim. Florida law also forbids employers from intimidating or coercing an employee for filing or attempting to file a workers’ comp claim.

However, being on workers’ compensation does not provide absolute job security. While your employer cannot fire you for being on workers’ compensation, there are numerous other legitimate reasons for termination.

Understanding At-Will Employment

Florida operates under the doctrine of at-will employment. This means that an employer has the right to dismiss an employee for almost any reason, as long as it’s not illegal or discriminatory. Some common lawful reasons for termination include poor performance, violation of company policies or procedures, layoffs due to downsizing or restructuring, or any other lawful purpose.

a workers comp claim should not lead to your termination

Retaliatory Dismissal: An Exception to At-Will Employment

While employers in Florida have broad discretion in terminating employees, there are certain legal restrictions they must adhere to. One such restriction is that an employer cannot fire an employee simply because they are receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

This is known as retaliatory dismissal and is illegal under Florida law.

This protection is crucial for maintaining fairness in the workplace. It ensures that employees can seek the benefits they are entitled to without fear of losing their jobs. It also encourages a safe work environment, as employees are more likely to report injuries and unsafe conditions if they know they are protected from retaliation.

Legal Consequences of Retaliatory Dismissal

Firing an employer solely because he or she filed a workers’ compensation claim is considered retaliatory termination and is against the law. The employer may face several legal consequences.

Reimbursement for Lost Income

If you’ve been wrongfully terminated, the court may require your employer to pay you for the income you lost as a result of the termination. This is meant to cover the earnings you would have made if you hadn’t been unlawfully let go.

Legal Penalties and Fines

Florida law stipulates that employers who wrongfully terminate employees may be subject to legal penalties and fines. These are intended to discourage employers from participating in unlawful employment practices.

Covering Legal Costs

In some instances, the employer might be ordered to cover the legal costs that the wrongfully terminated employee incurred while pursuing a claim of wrongful termination. These costs can include fees for legal counsel, court-related expenses, and other associated costs.

Call Our Florida Workers Comp Lawyers Today!

If you have concerns about your specific circumstances or need help with your Florida workers compensation claim, always seek legal advice from a qualified attorney at Work Injury Rights. Contact our offices at 954-833-5226 today for a free consultation.