Can You be Fired in New York While Out on Workers’ Compensation?

When you have been injured at work, your employer may not discriminate against you for your temporary disability.

In this case, discrimination includes terminating you or laying you off. However, if your employer has reason to believe that you cannot continue your duties as an employee and that belief is backed by medical evidence, they may be permitted to terminate you. An experienced New York personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the process and the law as it affects you.

Are there any times when injured employees could get fired?

In most cases, you cannot be fired while you are out on workers’ compensation, except where your injury may prevent you from doing your job going forward. For example, your employer might be able to terminate you if you are a chef and you sustain a hand injury that prevents you from holding a knife safely. Your personal injury attorney can help ensure that your employer is adhering to New York law if this type of situation arises.

If I can’t perform my job duties, what are my options?

If you are injured on the job and your injury prevents you from completing your usual duties, you might still be able to work there. You could be offered a modified or alternate position at your employer. However, this can come with reduced pay.

For example, if you were the injured party from the aforementioned chef example, you may be able to return to the restaurant as a manager or host. If no such position is available, your employer is required to provide you with vocational rehabilitation. This requires your employer to provide you with a portion of your original income while you train to enter another type of work through education or being directly connected with a new position. Before you accept either of these options, you should consult with a personal injury attorney to help you achieve the most beneficial outcome for your unique situation.

What should I do before I get back to work?

In preparing to go back to work, make sure to obtain the medical care you need to recover from your injury. Under your employer’s policy, you are entitled to compensation for medical bills and prescriptions. Although all New York employees (except independent contractors) are covered by Workers’ Compensation Law, your benefits under that law stop when you return to work and receive wages equal to or greater than those you received prior to your injury. If your wages are less than those prior, you may continue to receive benefits.

Contact an experienced injury lawyer for help with workers’ compensation in New York

If you have been injured at work, New York has your back. The Empire State has some of the oldest and most comprehensive workers’ compensation laws in the country. If you have questions about your workers’ compensation claim or need guidance through this process, contact Robinson & Yablon, P.C.’s team of experienced personal injury attorneys today at (212) 725-8566.