Filling a workers’ compensation claim after sustaining a serious injury can be a stressful time for an employee. One of the main concerns that often arise during this situation is whether your job security can be jeopardized for filing a claim.
Reasons for Termination after Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
In Nevada, employers cannot fire an employee for the sole reason that he or she filed a workers’ compensation claim. This would be considered an act of retaliatory termination and is illegal.
However, this does not mean that an employee cannot be fired after he or she has filed a workers’ compensation claim.
Any at-will employee who has filed a workers’ compensation claim can still be fired for misconduct or poor performance or laid off as part of a planned mass layoff.
Similarly, contract employees are also entitled to benefits as laid out in the agreement made when they were hired. While contract employees can be fired for specifically chosen reasons listed in their contract, they are still protected from retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Proving retaliatory termination requires evidence that shows your employment was ended on the sole basis that you filed a workers’ compensation claim. This may not be an easy task and will require the help of an experienced Las Vegas workers’ compensation lawyer.
Will I be Fired if My Injury Prevents Me from Working?
An employer is required to maintain an employee’s job while his or her workers’ compensation claim is pending, for the duration of an employee’s recovery, or until the employee has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).
MMI is the point where the injury is unlikely to get better with additional treatment. Once an employee has reached MMI, an employer can make a decision as to whether or not the employee can maintain his or her position.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer is not allowed to fire an employee for his or her disabling injury if he or she is expected to recover and return to work.
If the employee’s injury imposes any restrictions on the job duties he or she performs or is unable to return to work, an employer is within his or her right to terminate the employee.
Workers’ compensation benefits can still be extended to an injured employee even after he or she has been terminated. This includes vocational training, permanent or total disability.
Will I Still Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits If I am Fired?
Even after your employment has been terminated you can still receive workers’ compensation benefits from your previous employer.
This can last for the duration of your injury until you have been cleared by a physician to return to work. However, this right is only extended to those who left on good terms with their employer.
Under NRS 616C.323, an insurer may deny any employee his or her workers’ compensation benefits for if the worker was terminated for misconduct. If this occurs, an employer’s insurer can waive the employee’s rights to collect permanent or total disability.
If you have been wrongfully terminated by your employer while collecting workers’ compensation benefits, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit. The Las Vegas workers’ compensation attorneys at Henness & Haight can potentially maximize the benefits for your claim and take action against employers who wrongfully terminate their workers.