Being hurt or injured on the job can have a profound effect on your life and the lives of your family members. Not only can you incur high costs due to medical expenses, you also might fear lost wages due to missed work. However, imagine if you were then subsequently terminated from your place of employment while on disability/workers’ compensation leave. Now, not only are you recovering from an injury, but you must also find a new job and continue providing for your spouse and children. This is understandably devastating and luckily, the law protects you from this type of event from occurring.
It is important determine the reason for termination in order to bring this type of incident to court. The law protects you from being fired because you were injured, but it may not protect you if you were fired while you were injured. This contradiction can be confusing in the eyes of average citizens, so the help of an experienced attorney is necessary in navigating the often-complicated legal landscape.
According to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the following guidelines apply to termination during disability leave:
- The NJSA 34:15-39.1 statue prohibits the termination of an employee in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim or testifying at a hearing of that nature.
- If you believe you were fired because of the above reasons, you have the right to file a discrimination complaint.
- The law provides for restoration of your former job and payment of any lost wages, providing you can still perform the duties of that job.
- If your termination was based on your disabling condition, you also may be able to file a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, you deserve to be represented in a court of law for your case. The best way to bring justice to your claim is with the help of an experienced attorney. No one deserves to be terminated because of an injury or illness that they sustained due to the job itself. Not only is this illegal, it is unethical. In order to present your case in the best light and potentially receive the compensation to which you are entitled, you should employ the help of a lawyer right away.