Many states make it illegal for an employer to fire an employee after they have sustained a workplace injury. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is a requirement for employers to make reasonable accommodations before they take the drastic step of outright firing the employee. The employer may take steps to create a modified work schedule that works best for the employee, provide equipment that will help them complete the work, and also restructure the job so that they can complete the tasks at hand. If it does not cost the employer a lot to do so or the disability is temporary, most often this is the route in which the employer will go.
However, sometimes the injury is too serious and will keep the employee from ever returning to that position. In these cases, the employer is not in the wrong for deciding to fire the employee after they have utilized every other option. What is illegal is when the employer refuses to make any job accommodations where available or outright harasses the employee into leaving their job. Harassing the employee about their injury is never the right option and could end up with a lawsuit. (1)
What is a Breach of Implied Contract of Employment?
When an employee is working for their employer, most of the time it is known as “at-will employment.” This is when the employer and employee are free to terminate their working relationship whenever they see fit. One exception to this idea is a contract of employment. This means that employees may have an implied right to not be fired after they return to work after an injury. If the employer has made statements that they have a secure job no matter what, then they must make those accommodations where necessary.
If you are facing termination after an on-the-job injury and you believe that this is unfair to you based on your work circumstances, hiring a labor attorney may be your best option for success. Call us today for more information on how these cases are handled and how we can help you!