I was fired after getting injured on the job. What are my legal rights?

Additional Information:

I was hurt on the job, had shoulder surgery and therapy and was receiving workers comp. After completing physical therapy I was ready to return to work.  When I returned to work they said they didn’t need me anymore. What are my rights?  Isn’t the employer supposed to keep your job open or offer you another one?  What should I do?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

You may have rights under three different laws: (1) The workers compensation statute, which prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee for filing a workers compensation claim; (2) The Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows an employee to take an unpaid leave of absence and requires the employer to hold open the employee’s position (or a position comparable in responsibility and pay) once the leave period is completed and the employee is ready to return to work; and (3) our state and federal anti-discrimination statutes, which prohibit discrimination against an employee on the basis of disability. The merits of your claim depends upon a number of factors, including (a) the number of persons employed by the employer; (b) the nature of your condition; (c) the length of your leave; (d) the employer’s financial situation, both at the time you were hurt and the time that you were ready to return to work. These issues are best discussed with an attorney. Please be advised that there are very short time deadlines applicable to two of the three laws to which I referred above, and therefore you should consult with an attorney immediately.


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