Unfortunately, injured workers are terminated (or fired) because of their work injuries more often than not. In these situations, the injured employee may have a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This blog will address the workers’ rights under the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act. Presuming the reason why the claimant was injured was due to a workers’ compensation accident, the injured employee may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits include weekly income benefits and medical treatment.
If the injured employee was fired because of his or her workers’ compensation injury, the worker may be entitled to income benefits. If the employee was fired for a reason “unrelated” to the work injury, the injured employee carries the burden of looking for suitable employment within his or her physical limitations related to the work injury. In other words, the claimant, who was terminated for a reason unrelated to the work injury, has to look for work that he or she can do as soon as possible. Additionally, this job search must be “diligent” and “sincere.” To prove the claimant was sincerely and diligently looking for work, he or she must have enough evidence to show the judge. This evidence will include a job diary, applications, resumes, cover letters, and other documents that the judge can consider.
Presuming that the injured employee cannot find work, the reason for this inability must be because of the work injury. Therefore, the Employee must reveal his or her physical restrictions to the prospective employer. If the prospective employer is simply “not hiring”, this will not help the employee’s claim for benefits. Nevertheless, the claimant should document all of his or her job search efforts.
If you have been “let go”, “fired”, or “terminated” while being in the workers’ compensation system and you want to know your options, please feel free to contact the Ramos Law Firm.