Can My Employer Fire me While I am Out on Workers’ Compensation?


If I Fire For Workers Compensation In DC, Can My Employer Fire Me?

Most states, including DC, VA, and MD, have provisions that your employer cannot fire you in response to protected behavior such as filing of a workers’ compensation claim (called retaliation). But that is rarely the issue.

However, your employer can fire you while you have an open workers’ compensation claim for any legal reason if you are an at-will employee (union workers may have protections through their union). Sometimes employers say they need to fill your position, and with a serious injury, you may not be able to return to your job because you can no longer physically perform the work. Your doctor may have restricted you from lifting, bending, standing, reaching overhead, and other work activities.

Just because your company terminates your employment doesn’t mean your worker’s comp case is over. In fact, it has very little to do with workers comp. The worker’s comp insurance company will still have to pay your workers comp benefits and medical treatment while you cannot work because of your injuries.

The effect of termination on your worker’s comp case is often a complicated issue and can affect settlement and other issues – so if you’re in that situation, give us a call to see if we can help you take care of your case and your future (202) 393 – 3320.

What Are the Rules About Working When I’m on Workers Compensation in DC?

We always advise people to be careful about working while they are on workers’ compensation. You may be able to get some partial benefits if you go back to work at a lesser role or less pay. Or, if you are on light duty at the same position.

But, if you are totally disabled and collecting workers’ compensation (usually called temporary total disability or TTD), you cannot work at a different job and get paid for that. Anyone working and concealing it from the insurance company is committing fraud – remember, the system exists to pay legitimately injured workers, not people who claim they can’t work when they are working. And if you do decide to commit fraud you will be found out because the insurance company will most likely put surveillance on you if they suspect something. It never pays to commit fraud against the worker’s compensation carrier.

If you can work light duty work or in some reduced capacity, you should. You will still get workman’s comp benefits but these will be based on partial disability, and the calculation goes like this: If your normal weekly paycheck (weekly wage) was $1,000.00 and your light duty wages are $700, you would get $200 in temporary partial disability benefits ($1000 – $700 = $300 x 2/3 = $200). Many times, the light duty wages will vary so these benefits have to be adjusted every week. Our staff collects the data, calculates the benefits, and follows up with the insurance company to make sure you get all of the benefits you should.

Most people who have been seriously injured at work are very anxious to get back to work but don’t go back before your doctor releases you to go back. Going back on light duty or in a different role is one way to make sure you are healthy before returning to heavy duty. We have found that our clients who have been able to do light duty or a modified role will continue to get paid by the insurance company to help make up the difference in their earning power, and often times they get to maintain that positive relationship with their employer that many workers worry about when they are not working.

Are You Unsure About What to Do Next After a Serious Injury? Get the Help You Need Now

If you were seriously injured at work, especially if you need surgery, you probably need an attorney to help you take care of your family and protect yourself from the insurance company. Give us a call today at 203-393-3320 and we will get you started on your road to success in workman’s comp.

You Can Keep Your Workers Compensation Case If You Switch Jobs After A Work Injury In DCSwitching Jobs While You’re On Workers Comp In DC.

A serious work injury in Washington DC sometimes means that you don’t go back to work for a long time while you are recovering. That means that if you are an at-will employee, your employer can replace you if you’re not there to do the job. It also means that if you take a different job that fits your work restrictions, your worker’s compensation claim goes with you especially if you are earning less money. And an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in DC can help you through all of it

What we don’t recommend is for someone who is on workers’ compensation to go back to work before being cleared by their doctor. We see this all the time – injured workers are always itching to get back to work so they can keep providing for their families and secure their job for the future. The problem with this is that, while their intentions are noble, injured workers who don’t wait to be cleared by their doctor often re-injure themselves and wind up being out of work longer than they would have if they had been patient and followed doctor’s orders.

At the point of reinjury, you have already messed up your worker’s compensation case. Once you are back to work against doctor’s orders, the insurance company has a reason to deny your benefits for non-compliance. And then you can’t work and also are not covered by benefits (income replacement).

At Donahoe Kearney, Our Number One Priority Is To Keep Your Income Benefits Steady And Get Your Medical Treatment Authorized While You Are Off Of Work

Whether you are on full work restrictions or light duty, you are entitled to TTD (income replacement benefits depending on work status) and medical treatment while you are on workers comp. If you have been seriously injured, need surgery, and are going to be out of work for a while you need an experienced and aggressive lawyer like Frank Kearney to keep your income replacement benefits coming and medical treatment authorized. Most people who don’t have aggressive DC worker’s compensation laws have a lot of trouble with missing checks and long waiting periods in between authorizations for medical appointments or treatments. We have an aggressive staff who doesn’t take any crap from the insurance company and knows how to spot the BS like deceipt, delay, and denial of workers comp benefits so you don’t have to worry about where your check is from week to week.

If You Have Work Restriction After A Work Injury In DC, Contact Our Aggressive DC Workers Compensation Attorney Frank Kearney

If you are on work restrictions that means you need someone to fight for your benefits while you can’t work. The insurance company has plenty of doctors, lawyers, nurses, adjusters, etc. whose job it is to limit your benefits. Why should you not have an aggressive team of professionals on your side? Contact us today at 202-393-3320 to get started with our experienced team who will be able to help you the very same day.

How Do You Find Out If Your Employer Has Worker’s Compensation Insurance?

After your work injury, your supervisor should provide information to you about how to file your worker’s comp claim. Normally, your employer will immediately notify the insurance company and give you the paperwork that you will need to fill out.

If your employer does not follow these steps after your work injury, they may not have workers comp insurance. If you are still unsure about the status of your employer’s coverage, the D.C. Office of Worker’s Compensation has a free online tool available that can verify your employer’s insurance status.

You’ve Been Injured At Work But Your Employer Doesn’t Have Insurance – Now What?

This goes without saying, but an employer should have workers’ compensation insurance. It’s just better for business. If they don’t, not only are they subject to fines and penalties, but they have to deal with the constant worry of employees getting injured at work. Not having workers’ compensation insurance also fosters a bad work environment. If you’re reading this post, you may know what I’m talking about. Nothing is worse than working for someone who you think doesn’t have your best interest in mind. Don’t worry though, if you get hurt at a company like this, the experienced worker’s compensation attorneys at Donahoe Kearney will keep your best interest in mind and there are solutions for you.

There are usually two options for receiving benefits in this case:

  1. You can sue your employer. It’s important to understand that filing a workers’ compensation claim is NOT suing your employer. But, if your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance, how do you get your money? How do you avoid getting behind on bills You have to sue your employer for your benefits. D.C. courts are very open to this.
  2. You can also file a traditional workers’ comp claim, through the Department of Employment Services. This will require a formal hearing, but will still be an effective way to receive the benefits owed to you. Many times if the company doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance they don’t even show up to the hearing. So, it will be up to us to convince the judge that you deserve benefits for your work injury, and that will be easier to do without opposition.

Let Our Experienced Attorneys Help You Get Everything You’re Entitled To

With a serious injury, you have enough to worry about. Recovery, rehab, new medical bills, worries about your check coming on time, A whole new legal system with new requirements and terms – like light duty and utilization review and vocational rehabilitations and filing the right claim forms can all be overwhelming – so we take care of all of that for you. Our clients only have to worry about getting better. Contact us today at 202-393-3320.

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  • Story Of Success

    After A Successful Settlement, a Severely Injured Young Man Now Has the Resources to Live Independently

    Rated 5 out of 5
    July 26, 2022

    Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were excellent attorneys. They were very caring toward my son and myself. They always explained everything in detail and kept in touch with us, updating us about the case. Whenever we would call or needed a question answered, Mr. Kearney or his assistant was always there to help. My son and I are very happy and satisfied with the outcome of the case. Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were the best and I would highly recommend them to other people.

    M.S., Manassas, Va
  • Story Of Success

    After A Successful Settlement, a Severely Injured Young Man Now Has the Resources to Live Independently

    Rated 5 out of 5
    July 26, 2022

    Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were excellent attorneys. They were very caring toward my son and myself. They always explained everything in detail and kept in touch with us, updating us about the case. Whenever we would call or needed a question answered, Mr. Kearney or his assistant was always there to help. My son and I are very happy and satisfied with the outcome of the case. Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were the best and I would highly recommend them to other people.

    M.S., Manassas, Va
  • Story Of Success

    After A Successful Settlement, a Severely Injured Young Man Now Has the Resources to Live Independently

    Rated 5 out of 5
    July 26, 2022

    Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were excellent attorneys. They were very caring toward my son and myself. They always explained everything in detail and kept in touch with us, updating us about the case. Whenever we would call or needed a question answered, Mr. Kearney or his assistant was always there to help. My son and I are very happy and satisfied with the outcome of the case. Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were the best and I would highly recommend them to other people.

    M.S., Manassas, Va
Washington, DC

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Alexandria, VA

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Phone: (202) 393-3320
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