No one plans or desires to get fired, but getting laid off happens whether you want it or not. Several factors, like budget cuts, unforeseen financial downturns, or breach of contract, can lead to termination from your job. As long as there’s a legitimate reason, the chances of a legal remedy are slim.
The story is different if you get fired for seeking your workers’ compensation benefits after suffering an injury on the job. It has led many to ask if they can still access the benefits they are eligible for after getting laid off or if it goes away with the termination of their employment.
The situation is often complicated and requires the legal know-how of a North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer. Talking to an attorney and getting your case reviewed is a crucial step, but in the meantime, we’ve put together some helpful information for you.
What Happens After Your Employer Fires You?
Generally, if you were eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits when your boss fired you, then you will continue getting them. This is because the injury you suffered happened on the job, hence the benefits.
However, if you lost the job because of a breach of contract or some other infringement on the job, you will likely lose your benefits. Another reason you might not get access to the benefit is if your doctor gives a report that you had fully recovered before your employer laid you off.
It means that irrespective of whether your employer fires you, the workers’ compensation benefit would end once you recover. On the other hand, if your termination is due to your employer going bankrupt, you would still have access to the benefits.
Note that companies sometimes remain operational after getting their debts organized. Even if they liquidate all assets and close the business, you are still entitled to get compensated.
In that case, the workers’ compensation insurance company would handle the payment as long as your employer maintained their payments when they were solvent. The only reason the benefits will cease in this scenario is if the company allows its workers’ compensation to lapse.
If that happens, you might get the payments from another source, and your employer might face criminal charges. The last instance is if the insurance company starts having financial problems, but the chances of this happening are slim.
When Can Worker’s Compensation Benefits Be Denied?
Having established that getting fired does not prevent you from receiving compensation benefits, we will look at instances where you won’t have access to the worker’s compensation benefits. They include getting laid off for:
- Having a positive test for drug usage or alcohol consumption shortly after a work accident.
- Misusing company equipment or machinery, which led to the work accident.
- Missing work without a medical report.
- Insubordination to the employer or supervisor.
- Engaging in personal activities or horseplay during work hours, leading to a work injury.
- Refusing to perform light duty recommended by the attending physician.
Situations Where Getting Fired Is Unjustified
Your employer might try to cheat you out of your worker’s compensation benefits by firing you for unjustified reasons. When this happens, you need to consult a workers’ compensation attorney in North Carolina for representation.
Instances where getting fired is unjustified are:
- When you report a work accident to the relevant authorities.
- When you file a workers’ compensation claim.
- When you refuse to perform work greater than restrictions imposed by your attending physician.
- When you hire a worker’s compensation lawyer to represent you.
- When you miss work with a medical excuse from your physician.
Did You Get Laid-off From Work After Suffering an Injury? Consult a Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers’ compensation is insurance held by an employer to compensate workers who suffer injuries at work. It usually covers payments relating to medical expenses and lost wages. Certain businesses in North Carolina are required by law to maintain workers’ compensation insurance, including those who employ three or more employees.
The law also provides that those who suffer injuries while at work are entitled to get compensated. Despite this provision, some employers lay off injured workers for unjustifiable reasons and fail to pay the benefits. When this happens, it is imperative to consult a workers’ compensation lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Our attorneys believe in fighting for your rights and will provide you with various options designed to get you the highest compensation from your employer. You can start the process of getting what you are due by scheduling a free consultation with us today.