Queens Workers Compensation Lawyers

Can your employer terminate you in retaliation for filing a valid workers’ compensation claim?

You’ve been injured on the job and there’s really no question that the injury was work-related. You may be reluctant, however, to pursue workers’ compensation benefits, for fear that it may have an impact on your job. Can your employer terminate you in retaliation for filing a valid workers’ compensation claim? On the other hand, can your employer fill your position while you are off on disability and leave you high and dry when you are ready to return to work?

With respect to the first question, New York law is clear that an employee cannot be fired or discriminated against solely for filing a valid workers’ compensation claim. Accordingly, you can’t be terminated for seeking benefits after an injury, and you employer cannot engage in other forms of discrimination because you sought workers’ compensation benefits, including:

  • Denial of promotions or raises
  • Undesirable work assignments
  • Denial of benefits offered to other workers in similar positions

As a practical matter, it can be difficult to prove that your employer acted in retaliation for the filing of a workers’ compensation claim, as employment is generally at will, allowing an employer to terminate an employee for any reason that does not violate a contract, law or public policy. However, termination in retaliation for taking legally permissible action is generally prohibited.

There are other laws that may provide some level of protection to an injured worker. For example, the FMLA will protect your job for up to 12 weeks when you take medical leave. You may also have a union contract that protects your job.

Can You Lose Your Job if You File a Valid Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Experienced NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx | Queens Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we handle all matters related to workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims for people in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.

To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Queens Workers’ Compensation Attorneys