Our firm represents workers’ compensation claimants throughout the greater Jacksonville area. In doing so, we are often presented with situations where the employee was fired shortly after being injured in a workplace accident. Often, employees that were always previously given very high reviews are told they are being fired for some very minor incident, like getting to work a few minutes late.
Florida law (Florida Statute 440.205) provides that “no employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any employee by reason of such employee’s valid claim for compensation or attempt to claim compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Law.” If it can be proved that an employer did so, the injured employee may be entitled to additional damages including lost wages and attorney fees.
Routinely, when workers’ compensation claims are settled, the employer requires, as part of the settlement agreement, that the employee resign from employment and agree to never re-apply for employment with that company again. This tells us that many employers do not want to continue to employ people who have filed workers compensation claims. With this motivation on the part of many employers being so clear, it goes without saying that some employers try to get rid of employees filing workers’ compensation claims by either forcing them out of the job by making working conditions unbearable or by firing the employee for a reason that otherwise would not have resulted in termination.
If you believe that you have been fired or otherwise retaliated against by your employer for filing a workers’ compensation claim, please contact our Jacksonville Workers’ Compensation lawyers for a free consultation.