Can my Employer Terminate me For Making a Workers’ Compensation Claim in New York?

I Was Fired for Making a Workers’ Compensation Claim in New York: Is that Legal?  NYC Wage and Hour Lawyer Explains

Employees being terminated is a very touchy subject.  Whenever someone is fired against their will when it is not expected, there will be hostilities and bitterness.  It can be particularly frustrating is someone was fired after being injured on the job.  The issue becomes if an employee is injured on the job and is fired after filing a workers’ compensation claim.  Can an employer really fire the employee?  Our New York City wage and hour lawyer discusses the rights of employers and employees.

Generally New York is “At Will” Employment

Under New York law, generally this State is an “at will” employment state.  This means that an employee is at the will and pleasure of his or her employer.  This means that an employer may terminate an employee for any reason or no reason because the employee is at the will of the employer.  This means that employees can be terminated at any time and for any reason.  Some may believe this is not fair, while others may fine this disparaging.  But the law in many states is that employment is at will and there does not need to be cause.

Terminating for Workers’ Compensation is Generally Not Permitted

However, there are exceptions to at will terminations.  For instance, if an employee is injured on the job and an employer terminates the employee because the employee files a claim, that is prohibited under New York law.  It is also prohibited if an employee testifies or claims that errors by the employer were what resulted in the injuries on the job.  Firing an employee under these circumstances would be due to retribution and is also prohibited.

Acceptable Reasons for Terminating an Employee Out on Workers’ Compensation

There are always exceptions to exceptions.  If the job is seasonal and an employee goes out on workers’ compensation, it may be acceptable to terminate employment because of the seasonal demand.  Also going out on workers’ compensation is not a holiday break.  Employees are still obligated to treat with providers and follow directions.  Employees must also check in and update employers.  If an employee is abusing the workers’ compensation process or failing to respond to the reasonable requests for updates from an employer, the employee may be terminated.  This termination is not for going out on workers’ compensation, but for failing to comply with the employer’s requests, workers’ compensation policy, and to otherwise communicate with the employer.

Unsure of Your Employment Rights After Going Out on Workers’ Compensation?  Call SAMUEL & STEIN

Terminating employees and workers’ compensation is a very complicated area of law.  There are many pitfalls and issues that need to be addressed by an experienced counsel.  The experienced New York City wage and hour attorneys at SAMUEL & STEIN are dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of employers and working people throughout New York and New Jersey.  We have the resources, experience, and knowledge necessary to ensure your legal rights are protected and you are not taken advantage of.  Call us today by dialing (646) 480-2149 or use the convenient “Evaluate Now” box on our webpage.  Together we can help answer your questions and protect your rights.

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