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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Can I Be Fired for an Injury at Work in Indiana?

Unfortunately, many find themselves injured temporarily or permanently because of incidents that happen at work. Some will return to the job eventually, while others will have their quality of life disrupted by never being able to repeat the same tasks again.

In many of these cases, the injured workers will simply file a workers comp claim. This is meant to assist with medical bills, lost wages, and even account for ratings such as temporary partial disability. What about job security though? Is it possible for injured employees to be fired for being hurt? Is there any legal ground on which such an approach is allowed?

Workers Have Protection Against Being Wrongfully Terminated in Indiana

Workers Have Protection Against Being Wrongfully Terminated in Indiana

There are certain rights that every worker in Indiana is afforded, which include having a reasonably safe work environment. Additionally, there should be no pressure to quit or for termination to occur just because the employee has been at the center of and injured by a workplace accident.

The Indiana Workers' Compensation Act prevents an employer from firing an employee just because the person filed a claim to be able to access workers comp benefits. If there is any employee who believes that their termination was solely motivated by this, it's a good idea to contact an Indiana workers' compensation attorney in the shortest possible order.

There are legal options that can provide recourse if there is truly a wrongful termination situation at play.

The At-will Employment Policy of the Indiana State Government

While there should never be a case where someone feels like filing a workers' compensation claim will see them lose their job, everyone is reminded that the Indiana state government has an "at will" employment policy in place.

In other words, while there should never be any level of discrimination at play, employers are allowed to hire and fire anyone as they see fit. Disabilities shouldn't be an element of discrimination effectively, especially those that were not present before the job was offered. This is especially true in cases where the said disability comes from a work-related injury.

How Hard Is It to Prove That an Indiana Employer Forced Someone to Quit for Being Injured on the Job?

Sometimes, people will quit after they are injured on the job. If this is the case, such a person must be able to prove that whatever reason the employer had for forcing the resignation was illegal. Being compelled to quit the job is not a solid argument.

Realistically, this is not the easiest thing in the world to prove. The idea is to be able to say without a shadow of a doubt that the employer intended to have the employee quit just because an injury has occurred or because a worker's compensation claim was filed. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is also able to answer questions such as Can I be fired for an injury outside of work in Indiana?

Laws that apply to the constructive discharge principle are highly complex, and this is why getting a workers compensation lawyer for guidance and representation is a recommended course of action. Bear in mind too that waiting to engage an attorney can also reduce the chances of getting the damages that may be owed.

The Idea of Constructive Discharge?

This principle applies to people who may not have been terminated but were forced to quit the job. If someone was made to quit because of being the subject of intolerable work conditions, this is known as a constructive discharge.

Sometimes, employers will have illegal working conditions in place or they may simply mistreat employees, and this can force the person to leave the job.

What About Being Fired for Pursuing a Workers' Compensation Claim?

First, a worker's compensation claim filing is not a fireable offense in Indiana. Be that as it may, there is nothing illegal about the termination of an employee who is unable to work for a period that would constitute a violation of leave or attendance policies that have been published and posted.

For example, if someone is only allowed to miss 20 shifts annually and the injury causes the person to exceed that number, it is possible for the employer to legally terminate such a person.

Important Courses of Action for Anyone Looking to Claim Workers Compensation Benefits

Communication with Indiana Employers

Whenever there is an injury, the need to communicate with the employer as quickly as possible cannot be overstated. It's also important to let them know about the doctor's opinion on the matter, including how long it is anticipated that working will not be possible.

Seek Legal Counsel from a Qualified Attorney

Navigating these matters is not easy, especially when an employer wants to try to terminate someone illegally or force them to quit. This is not a straightforward allegation to prove, which is why it requires having a professional who knows the legal landscape well.

Does Wrongful Termination Litigation mean Getting the Job Back?

Litigation can certainly help wronged employees get their jobs back under certain circumstances, though this will not always be the case.

When a wrongfully terminated employee pursues a case against a former employer, the latter is not obligated to rehire the former. Bear in mind too that the affected party may also just not wish to work for the employer again after having now been the subject of mistreatment.

Be that as it may, it is possible to seek to take care of whatever financial damages may have been the result of being laid off including any lost wages.

What if the Employer Decides to Ignore the Time Off Recommendation Handed Down By a Medical Professional?

An employer has to heed the doctor's orders when it is stated that the employee is not fit for duty. In this case, the company is expected to provide an appropriate work option or to continue to pay workers' compensation.

Note, however, that if the employee is deemed medically fit but doesn't feel ready to go back to work, the employer can discontinue workers' compensation claim payments and can also choose not to hold the job.

If an employer chooses not to make the necessary accommodations and refuses to pay the claim benefits, then an Indiana worker's compensation lawyer may be needed to help get what is owed. They can also help with a repetitive work injury in Indiana.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Seasons Work Injury Lawyer in Indiana Today!

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Seasons Work Injury Lawyer in Indiana Today!

In these kinds of sensitive cases, you need a work injury lawyer who is going to be willing to fight for you. Schedule a free consultation with one today at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys!

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