Can I Get Fired Because Of A Work-Related Injury?
If you have suffered a work-related injury, one of the questions you may be asking yourself is if you can get fired because of your injury. So, can you get fired because of a work-related injury? The answer is yes (sort of). In Vermont, there is no law that requires an employer to keep a worker who cannot perform their work duties because of an injury, even with reasonable accommodations or if the injury is work-related. If your employer lets you go because you cannot perform your work duties because of a work-related injury, that is not illegal. The law recognizes that your employer needs to fill positions with qualified individuals who can perform the job duties to remain productive. However, you have the right to be rehired after suffering a work-related injury, provided certain conditions are met. Also, your employer cannot fire you for reporting a work injury or filing a workers’ compensation claim. This is against Vermont’s employment discrimination laws. Read on to learn more.
The Right of Reinstatement
According to 21 V.S.A. § 643b, an employer has an obligation to reinstate an employee who has suffered a work-related injury provided the following conditions are met;
- The employee recovers within two years; and
- The employee keeps the employer informed of their interest in reinstatement; and
- The employee had an expectation of continuing with their job had their injury not occurred; and
- The employee is physically capable of performing the job duties they were performing before the injury, if the job is available, or alternative suitable job duties.
According to Vermont law, reinstatement must include all the benefits the employee earned up to when they suffered the injury, including accrued leave time and seniority.
An Employer Cannot Fire You for Reporting a Work-related Injury or Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim.
As mentioned already, an employer cannot fire you for reporting a work-related injury or filing a workers’ compensation claim. If an employer fires you for reporting a work injury or filing a workers’ compensation claim, you can file a retaliation claim against the employer. A skilled attorney can help you with your retaliation claim. An attorney can help you prove that the employer fired you because of reporting your work-related injury or filing a workers’ compensation claim.
What If I Need To Take a Medical Leave?
According to Vermont law, you are entitled to family leave days if you work for a covered employer (an employer with at least fifteen workers) and have worked an average of 30 hours a week for a year. You are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any one-year period. This means that when you take a medical leave because of a work-related injury, your employer is required to hold your job for up to twelve weeks.
Contact a Vermont Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you’ve suffered a work-related injury and have questions or need help filing a workers’ compensation claim, contact our experienced Vermont workers’ compensation attorney at Sluka Law PLC.