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Can My Employer Fire Me When I'm on Workers' Compensation?

The answer is yes. Delaware is an “employment-at-will” state. This means that an employer or employee may generally terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason unless a law or agreement provides otherwise. Being an injured worker on workers’ compensation does not protect an individual from being fired or laid off. There are several reasons an employer can justify terminating your employment while you are on workers’ compensation.

However, the major exception is your employer is not allowed to fire you because you applied for, or are on, workers’ compensation. Retaliatory termination is against the law even in employment-at-will states. If your disability makes it impossible for you to do your job, then your employer will have the right to fire you. This applies to several trade jobs —specifically jobs that are physically demanding or require you to be physically active.

Even though being fired because of a work injury is not uncommon, many employees handle a work injury through their own private insurance in fear of losing their job. Employees are entitled to workers’ compensation and should not be afraid of taking advantage of that right. If you are injured at work, know your rights. Contact an attorney at Kimmel Carter to discuss the rights you, as an injured worker, are entitled to.


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