New York has a rich culture and an extensive history, especially as it pertains to hardworking men and women building places like New York City. Over the years, countless New Yorkers have lost limbs in machine accidents, and even their lives as they built the magnificent buildings that make New York the treasure it is today.
New York, particularly the Five Boroughs, is no stranger to workplace accidents. Before workers’ compensation laws were enacted, injured workers had few legal protections and they would have to sue their employer, which was difficult to do when workers couldn’t afford legal representation.
Fortunately, legislatures became aware that injured workers couldn’t provide for themselves, let alone their families after workplace accidents. One by one, states started enacting workers’ compensation laws to ensure injured workers would have access to medical care and benefits for lost wages.
Today, the vast majority of New York employees are covered by workers’ compensation; however, something is holding people back from filing claims when they really need them. Many workers choose not to file workers’ compensation claims because they’re afraid they’ll lose their jobs. Sound unbelievable? It happens more often than you might think.
IS IT LEGAL TO FIRE WORKERS AFTER THEY FILE CLAIMS?
In a word – no – it is not legal for employers to fire workers because they file workers’ compensation claims. Even though New York is an at-will employment state, which means employers can discharge employees at any time, employers cannot fire people for discrimination.
Firing someone because they file a workers’ compensation claim is discrimination and doing so would open an employer up to an employment discrimination lawsuit.
If you’re concerned that your employer might fire you if you file a workers’ compensation claim, start gathering evidence immediately to support your theory, and make sure you’re in contact with a New York workers’ compensation lawyer from our firm.