Occasionally, someone will approach us about their
workers’ comp claim and their job. The story often goes something like this: A worker
was injured on the job so he or she decided to file a workers’ compensation
claim. Then, shortly after filing the claim, their employer lets them
go. The injured worker was never reprimanded, but they were fired after
they filed a workers’ comp claim.
Is this some odd coincidence or does it need to be investigated further?
The worker is confused because they’ve heard that like most states,
New York is an at-will employment state. Meaning, employers can usually
fire employees and the workers have zero recourse.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, “New York is generally
considered to be an ‘employment at will’ state, which means
that a private sector employer can pretty much hire or fire as he or she
pleases and discharged employee usually will have no legal recourse even
when the discharge is unfair or unreasonable.”
However, there are exceptions to the above rule. There are circumstances
where a discharged employer can sue their employer for their job back
or for damages. The Attorney General’s Office says, “The Workers’
Compensation Law prohibits an employer from discharging a worker because
he has filed a Workers’ Compensation or Disability Benefits claim
or has testified before the Workers’ Compensation Board.”
It is Illegal to Fire Employees in Retaliation
In a nutshell, it is illegal for an employer to fire an employer because
he or she filed a workers’ compensation claim. While it’s
against the law for employers to file employees for filing workers’
comp claims, unfortunately it happens all the time. If you were let go
after filing a workers’ comp claim, contact our office to discuss
the circumstances around your particular claim. We’d be happy to
advise you of our legal options.
If you’re afraid to file a workers’ comp claim because you
believe you’ll lose your job, please contact us. You should not
let your fears stop you from receiving much-deserved compensation. We’d
be glad to answer your questions and give you clear direction on your case.
Looking for a workers’ compensation attorney on Long Island or in
New York City?
Contact Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman today!