Oftentimes, this is one of the most common questions clients have and one of the greatest fears of injured employees. Employees go to great lengths to avoid filing a claim, including using their health insurance for doctor visits and using any sick days or short-term disability time they have.
In short, an employer cannot fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. This is considered a retaliatory termination for reporting a workplace injury or filing a workers’ compensation claim. In fact, Illinois law specifically prohibits an employer for firing an injured worker solely for making a claim.
However, your employer can fire you while your claim is open, so long as they have other reasons for terminating you that do not have to do with your filing a claim. Illinois is an “at will” employment state, meaning employers can terminate employees for mostly any reason whatsoever. This includes poor work performance, late attendance, need for layoffs due to financial reasons, restructuring of the company or for any other legal reason.
There are several things you can do to protect yourself from being wrongfully terminated for reporting an injury. For example, make sure you are complying with all policies and regulations your employer has in place for reporting an injury. This may include filing an injury report, notifying specific supervisors and seeking immediate medical treatment. Additionally, make sure not to violate any company policies including absenteeism, substandard work performance or failing to keep your employer advised of your condition. By taking a few precautionary steps, you may be able to protect yourself from being wrongfully discharged for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If you have any questions regarding your legal rights as an injured worker, please contact our office for a free legal consultation.
The attorneys at Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid are committed to representing people who have been seriously injured and incur significant medical expenses as a result of work-related accidents. Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid continue to handle workers’ compensation and personal injury cases in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will and Kendall Counties and all throughout the Chicagoland area.