Sadly, many workers will, at some point, suffer an on-the-job injury. If you’re unable to work or are required to significantly limit your work, you can collect workers’ compensation benefits. Sometimes an employee may be let go while collecting workers’ compensation, so it’s fair to wonder what happens to their benefits. Here’s what you need to know:
Ohio is categorized as an at-will employment state, meaning you or your employer can terminate your working relationship at any time without reason. Generally, when an employee is let go, the employer states a reason, but this is not required by law.
There is one exception to the at-will rule—your contract with your employer states the specific reasons or circumstances under which you can be terminated. If the reason given for termination is different from what’s on your contract, it constitutes a breach of contract. Should this happen to you, we recommend you consult with Regas & Haag about initiating a lawsuit.
If you were injured while working your regular job duties, you are entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim. These benefits can be claimed if you need to limit your working capacity or you can’t perform your work duties at all.
Workers’ compensation is in place to offer benefits to both the employee and employer:
Sometimes, when an employee is cleared to return to work, they find out their job no longer exists. If you can work without restrictions but are terminated by your employer, you will no longer get temporary total disability benefits from your workers’ compensation; you may still be entitled to other compensation. If your claim is still open, it will continue to cover the costs of your medical expenses, ongoing treatment, and lost wages due to the injury you sustained while on the job.
Even if you were cleared by your doctor to resume light work duties but are terminated by your employer, you can still recover those benefits once you have obtained a new job.
It’s important to note an employer cannot legally terminate an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. While employers are required to state the specific reason for termination in this circumstance, you can file a lawsuit if you have cause to believe you were fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If you believe you were unfairly terminated or have concerns about losing your workers’ compensation benefits, Regas & Haag can help. If you are located in or near Canton, Ohio, contact our law firm at your earliest convenience to discuss your case.