New Jersey law provides protections for employees who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses. Most employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance and, when an employee is injured on the job, they can make a claim to receive benefits for medical treatment, wage replacement, and disability payments. The workers’ compensation process can be complex, however, and not every injured worker automatically receives the proper benefits to which they are entitled.
While some injured or ill employees may face a reduced or denied claim, others may experience more severe consequences when they file a claim. In order to avoid increased costs of workers’ compensation insurance, an employer may decide to fire an employee who has filed a claim. In such cases, not only is an employee left without workers’ compensation benefits but also without any income at all. To protect the rights and interests of injured individuals in this situation, workers’ compensation laws in NJ make it unlawful to retaliate in any way against an employee for making a claim. Retaliation can include termination, but also discipline, transfer to a less desirable position, demotion, pay cuts, and any other adverse employment action.
Proving wrongful termination for a workers’ compensation claim
In most cases, an employer will not openly admit that they wrongfully fired you in response to a workers’ compensation claim. Instead, they will come up with another reason for the termination and, if you are an at-will employee, an employer can cite pretty much any reason they want. However, if you can provide evidence to prove that the stated reason for the termination is pretextual and that the true reason behind the firing was your workers’ compensation claim. Doing so can be complex and it is important to have a lawyer representing you who knows how to prove your wrongful termination so that you can recover. Recovery can include job reinstatement, lost income, lost benefits, and more.
Call for a free initial consultation with an experienced NJ employment attorney
It is unlawful and unacceptable for an employer to wrongfully retaliate against you for making a workers’ compensation claim. If you have been demoted, disciplined, or fired for making a claim, you should not delay in contacting a qualified employment lawyer who understands workers’ compensation laws in New Jersey. At The Law Office of David H. Kaplan, we help employees who have faced unlawful retaliation, so please call for a free consultation at 973-426-0021 for more information regarding how we can help you.