Unfortunately, while some states protect workers against retaliatory termination for filing for worker's compensation, Georgia is not one of them. In Georgia, at-will employees can be fired for any reason at any time, including while out on disability or while performing "light duties" due to your injury.
However, if you are terminated after filing for worker's compensation benefits, you do not need to give up. In many cases, you can continue receiving worker's compensation even if you are fired. Our experienced Atlanta worker's compensation attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of worker's compensation law and get you the maximum compensation you deserve.
What to Do If You've Been Fired While Receiving Worker's Compensation
While it is illegal in Georgia to fire an employee directly because they filed for worker's compensation benefits, it is not illegal to fire the employee for any other reason while they are out of work or performing "light duty." This means that many people are wrongly terminated while they are in a particularly vulnerable state.
The first thing you should do if you have been fired while collecting worker's comp benefits in Atlanta is to contact an attorney with experience handling these types of cases. A lawyer is necessary in order to overcome Georgia's strong "at-will" statute and ensure that you continue receiving compensation while you are unable to work.
Tips to Avoid Termination Following An Injury
Since an employer is within their rights to fire you after you have suffered an injury and started drawing worker's compensation benefits, you need to make sure that you do not give them a reason outside of your injury that could lead to termination.
Since employers know that they cannot fire someone in direct response to a worker's compensation claim, they will often wait until the employee has returned to work in some capacity to act. This means that once you return to work, you should:
- Show up on time
- Act respectfully
- Perform your duties satisfactorily within your abilities
- Follow all workplace rules
If your employer does not have just cause to fire you, this will make winning your max worker's compensation benefits easier if you are terminated.
Schedule Your Atlanta Worker's Compensation Consultation Today
If you are filing a worker's compensation claim, or have been fired while drawing worker's compensation benefits, don't hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Humberto Izquierdo, Jr., PC at 770-999-9015 today for your free consultation.
We serve clients in the Marietta, Cumming, and Atlanta areas of Georgia.