Too many employers think that asking an employee to quit their job is somehow different from firing them. The truth is, from a legal standpoint, it’s exactly the same thing. Simply because it makes the employer feel better about themselves that doesn’t mean that it’s any different.
If you get hurt on the job, you are entitled to collect worker’s compensation benefits, and if your employer forces you to resign as a result, you’ve got legal options including wrongful termination. Learn about workers compensation laws, what happens if you’re forced to quit after a work injury, and how a workers’ comp attorney can help.
Workers’ Compensation and Work Injury Laws
Many employers think it doesn’t count as firing you if they ask you to resign to avoid a workers’ compensation claim. These kinds of unscrupulous employers should be held accountable for their actions. Just because they don’t want to have to accommodate your disability, doesn’t relieve them of their legal responsibility to do so.
Employers cannot fire you for filing a worker’s compensation claim. It’s that simple. Just because you got hurt at work is not just cause to let you go. The reason worker’s compensation exists is to allow for no-fault coverage of employee medical expenses in the case of work-related injuries. If firing someone for their injury was legal, the point of the system fails.
Firing and Forced Resignation Are the Same
So we know firing someone for being hurt is illegal, but what about asking them to resign? Again, it’s pretty basic: forced resignation is exactly the same as firing under the law. Likewise, your employer can’t target you to make your life at work miserable so that you choose to quit. When the employer uses these tactics, they’re trying to avoid not only your worker’s comp claim, but an unemployment claim.
If you quit voluntarily, you are ineligible for any benefits, including unemployment. However, if you are forced to resign, this does not qualify as voluntarily terminating your employment. Legally, this is called constructive discharge and is the same thing as termination. It means that you can not only still file for worker’s comp, but unemployment. You may also have cause for legal action against your former employer.
Hiring an Attorney
If you suffer a work injury and are forced to resign or fired as a result, you could potentially have cause to sue your employer for unlawful termination. It’s important, however, to have the right legal representation to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve, and that your former employer is held properly responsible.
If you’re terminated unlawfully, you may be able to receive your worker’s compensation, unemployment, and a range of other damages resulting from your termination, including emotional damage, pain and suffering and others.
For more information or to find out if you might have an unlawful termination lawsuit, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Parrish DeVaughn have years of experience handling cases just like yours. Get in touch with us today for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case and a consultation on where to go next.