It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to fire an employee while they’re recuperating from their work-related injuries. It seems rather cruel to do this to someone. However, if your employer decides to let you go while you’re out on workers’ comp, there isn’t much you can do about it. Sure, you can hire an Augusta workers compensation attorney to sue your employer. However, very few wrongful termination suits are successful because Georgia is an at-will state.
Here, we’ll discuss what this means in more detail. We’ll also explain what happens if your company does decide to terminate your employment while you’re still collecting workers’ compensation benefits. If you have any questions after reading this article, call our office right away. One of our front desk agents can schedule your free, initial consultation by phone or you can do so through our website. Since the consultation is free, you don’t have anything to lose. Also, since we don’t charge our clients anything upfront, you won’t have to pay a dime until we settle your case.
Georgia is an At-Will State
Like most other states, Georgia is an at-will state. This means that businesses have the right to fire employees for any reason. For example, if you have had attendance issues of late, your employer has every right to want to fire you. The same is true if you have a poor performance record at work. Nobody wants to be forced to keep an employee who can’t pull their own weight.
It works the other way too. If you choose to leave a job, you have every right to do so. Aside from the military, there is no job that can force you to stay against your will. For example, if you decided while you were out on workers compensation that you wanted to look for a new job, nobody can stop you. Of course, if you start a new job, your benefits will be terminated. But that’s the case no matter what. They’ll end when you return to your job anyway.
Were You on Probation Prior to Your Workplace Accident?
When you meet with your Augusta workers compensation attorney, they’ll need to know what happened. Some of the questions they may have include the following:
- Were you already on probation for attendance or performance?
- Does your employer believe you were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident?
- Have you recently been written up for any infractions?
- Have you heard through the rumor mill that you have already been replaced with a new employee?
These are the kinds of things your attorney needs to know in order to prepare your case. If they feel you are being railroaded, they will do their best to hold your employer accountable. However, since employers are not legally required to hold on to employees they don’t approve of, this will be difficult. In fact, very few of the wrongful termination cases our firm has handled resulted in a win for the plaintiff. These days, other than what you see or hear on television, wrongful termination lawsuits are a thing of the past. They do happen, but typically only when there is discrimination or harassment involved.
You’re Better Off Collecting Your Workers Comp Benefits and Finding a New Job
This may not be what you want to hear, but the best advice your workers comp lawyer in Augusta can give you is to calm down. Don’t let your employer know that you’re aware of their plans to fire you. Just keep your head down and start looking for a new job. It’s important that you continue to go to your doctor’s appointments. You still need to complete treatment for your work-related injuries. However, focus the rest of your time on finding a new job. Hopefully, you’ll have time to find the right place for you. In a way, you can look at this as a blessing in disguise.
If your employer happens to terminate you while you’re out on workers comp, make sure you call one of our Augusta workers compensation attorneys.
Your Workers Comp Lawyer in Augusta Can Help You Along the Way
It can be difficult to learn that you’re being fired from your job. This is especially true if you’re out on workers compensation when it happens. What kind of person fires somebody who is recovering from injuries they suffered on the job? It seems cold and heartless. However, our Augusta workers compensation attorneys see it all the time. Usually, this happens when the employee’s boss already had plans to let you go. Your being out on workers’ compensation is just a coincidence.
What our workers comp lawyers in Augusta suggest is that you call our office and schedule a free, initial consultation. You deserve the chance to sit down with an experienced Augusta workers compensation attorney who can guide you through the legal process. We understand how hurt you must feel right now. We also understand that you’re probably scared and anxious about what you’re going to do once your workers’ compensation benefits stop. However, you need to look at the silver lining here. You have been given a few weeks or even months’ notice that you will not have a job once your workers comp claim closes. You can start looking for a new job while you’re still collecting benefits.
In fact, as long as you don’t reach maximum medical improvement before you find a new job, you can collect benefits up until the day you start your new job. Plus, you won’t have to work for a company that doesn’t want you there.
You should call our office and we’ll set up a date and time for you to come into the office. If need be, we can conduct your free, initial consultation by phone or video call. Just contact the office today so we can get the process started.