In a Florida Record report by Jenie Mallari-Torres, an Orange County man has filed a lawsuit in the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida against Circle K Stores, Inc. In his complaint, he alleges that while working for the defendant in July 2015, he was injured while placing deposits from the store into a bank drop box. Because of the injury, he filed a workers’ compensation claim. Subsequently, he was fired from his position in August 2015.
Can an Employee Be Fired Because He Filed a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Being fired for filing a workers’ comp claim is a common fear for many employees. Even though the law in Florida is very clear on this subject, many workers believe their employment will be terminated for some “other reason” if they file a claim for a workplace injury. Florida’s workers’ comp laws specifically protect an injured worker from unlawful termination because of a workplace injury or filing a workers’ comp claim. If you believe you have been fired because you were hurt at work or filed a workers’ compensation claim, contact our office immediately. Your employer might have broken the law, and you might have a legal remedy for the termination. Call 1-800-333-3903 for a free consultation with a Boca Raton workers’ comp attorney.
Retaliation by Employers for Workers’ Comp Claims
Florida Statute §440.205 of the Workers’ Compensation Code states that an employer cannot fire an employee or threaten to fire an employee because of the filing of a valid workers’ compensation claim or attempting to file a workers’ compensation claim. The statue also prohibits employers from using intimidation or coercion with the employee. Unfortunately, while an employer cannot fire you, the law does not require him to hold your job for you while you are out of work recovering from a workplace injury or illness. During the time you are unable to return to work, the employer’s workers’ comp carrier should pay your medical bills and continue paying temporary disability payments. If an employer or its insurance company refuses to pay your benefits, you need to consult with a Florida workers’ comp attorney immediately.
Proving Wrongful Termination for a Workers’ Comp Accident
Proving that you were fired because you were hurt at work or filed a claim can be difficult. The Florida courts have ruled that you must prove specific elements in order to win your case.
- You must prove that you filed a valid workers’ comp claim. However, some courts have ruled in favor of an employee citing the employer knew the employee was going to file a claim.
- You must prove that your employer retaliated, such as firing you, harassing you to make you quit, etc.
- You must prove that the reason you were terminated was your accident or filing a claim. This is the most difficult element to prove and requires the assistance of an experienced Florida workers’ comp attorney
Have You Been Fired Because You Filed a Workers’ Comp Claim?
The workers’ compensation lawyers of the Broderick Law Firm, P.L. want to help you. Contact our office today 1-800-333-3903 to speak with an attorney. We represent individuals in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale & Miami, FL.