Many of our clients ask the question, “Can I get fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim?”
One reason many people avoid filing claims for workers’ compensation is the fear they will lose their jobs. Your employer cannot fire you merely because of your workers’ compensation claim.
By law, an employer is required to keep your job open for 12 months (from the day you become entitled to receive weekly payments of compensation) or provide alternative employment if it is reasonable.
Your employer is also expected to assist in the rehabilitation process with the aim of keeping you employable (‘the vocational rehabilitation requirement’).
Workers’ Compensation claims are very complex and can be emotionally charged. Having a worker away from a workplace on workers’ compensation is a very difficult situation for both the employer and the worker. The employer needs the work done and the worker, in all probability feels frustrated because they cannot work.
However being on worker’s compensation does not protect you from being fired or made redundant.
Can I be dismissed while I’m on Workers’ Compensation?
Yes. Your employer can fire you while you have an open workers’ compensation claim.
It may become clear through medical evidence that you’ll be unable to return to your usual occupation or alternative position. Your employer, after observing all the necessary time periods and requirements, can terminate your employment.
Your employer must complete a ‘notice of intention to dismiss’, provide 28 days’ notice, advise WorkCover WA and provide you with a copy of the notice.
It is important you are legally represented during this process to ensure all your rights are adhered to.
What happens to my compensation entitlements if I am terminated?
If your position is terminated, your workers’ compensation entitlements can continue. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer guide you through this process is essential to obtaining your due compensation.