Losing employment is a fear that many employees face. Especially since Covid-19 changed the world of employment forever. You could say that people are scared now more than ever. Maryland employees considering applying for workers’ comp. may fear unemployment due to being out of work. Being injured on the job can cause you to be out of work and make you wonder what happens to workers’ comp benefits if you’re fired in Maryland? Don’t be afraid to apply for benefits if you are injured at work. Being fired for solely filing for or receiving workers’ compensation benefits is a violation to the Maryland Department of Labor laws.
The short answer to this question is, you cannot get fired for filing or receiving workers’ compensation. However, employers have the ability to terminate their employees for other legitimate reasons. Want to know the reasons why and how you can know for sure if your employer is violating Maryland Department of Labor laws? Click here to learn more.
Where we see worker’s comp cases in Maryland, we also see fear in many of those employees filing for a work injury because of employment laws. In Maryland, employment is “at-will”. At-Will employment means that an employer can terminate workers at any time for any reason, besides an illegal reason. Moreover, an employee can legally leave a job at any time for any or no reason. Many injured workers’ fear job loss because they are receiving money from their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Taking any action towards the employer has people wondering, what happens to workers’ comp benefits if you’re fired in Maryland? What if you are already receiving them and get fired? Should I even take the risk of applying for work injury benefits and hiring a lawyer?
We know that it is illegal to fire an employee in Maryland solely for applying for workers’ comp benefits or receiving them. Therefore, if you feel as though your employer violated employment laws, there are some next steps to consider.
Under Maryland Criminal Law, it is a criminal offense to fire an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If the employer violates Maryland employment laws, they could be subject to large fines and possibly jail time. Employees still could be let go for other reasons. Reasons such as needing more people to complete a job while an injured worker is out recovering. However, employees can take action if they’ve been wrongfully terminated.
First, the worker can file a complaint with the Maryland Commission, which is an elected group to help solve certain government problems. The complaint must be filed within a certain amount of time from the date the person’s employment was terminated. Like the Statute of Limitations, there are deadlines to take legal action. In most cases, the claim will automatically be registered with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is the agency that enforces federal antidiscrimination laws. Nonetheless, sometimes the claim is not pushed automatically to the EEOC. In this case, the person has to file a complaint with the EEOC themselves. In short, employment law is complex. So get the right help you need.
Even though it may be possible to get fired after you are injured on the job, it generally shouldn’t affect your benefits. Most of the time you still should receive workers’ comp benefits if you’re fired in Maryland.
There are different scenarios when injured employees think about workers’ comp benefits if you’re fired in Maryland. One of those scenarios being, “what happens if my employer goes out of business; will I still receive benefits?” No matter what happens, if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you will continue to get compensation until you are healed or receive maximum help for your injuries. Once the doctor who is treating and checking up with you says that you have received the most help you can get, the insurance company can stop compensating for injuries whenever.
However, most factors should not affect the coverage your employer’s insurance provider is giving you. But, the insurance carrier may stop your benefits if you are fired for a disciplinary issue. That decision is up to the discretion of the worker’s compensation insurance company.
In summary, you cannot legally be fired for filing workers’ compensation, your employer can let go of someone for other legitimate reasons and if you are receiving benefits generally you will keep obtaining them until you have reached maximum recovery. One of the most common fears when it comes to filing workers compensation is the fear of losing employment. It’s understandable. But, don’t let the fear stop you from receiving fair settlement for work injuries. Speak to a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer who can give you the facts but ease your mind. Your health is important.
We’re not going to lie to you and sugar coat facts. And, being fired while you are receiving workers comp will not always happen. Many people come back to work fully recovered and healthy. We understand the fear and questions about losing workers’ comp benefits if you’re fired in Maryland. We want to ease your mind so ask us the hard questions. Call us even just to talk about the workers’ compensation process: 202-933-1918. Your recovery is important, so don’t wait to start your workers’ comp claim.