If you’re been fired in retaliation for filing a workers’ comp claim in MD, our Frederick workers' compensation lawyer can help you take action against your employer.
Almost every employer in Maryland is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which provides no-fault coverage for all employee work-related accidental injuries and occupational illnesses. If you’re injured in the course of doing your job or develop a work-related illness due to unavoidable conditions, you may file a workers’ comp claim in MD for:
- Medical expenses
- Two-thirds of lost wages
- Vocational rehabilitation (in some cases)
- Death benefit (if you’ve lost a loved one to a work-related injury/illness)
There is no need to prove your employer was negligent or at fault for your injury/illness. You may file a workers' comp claim in MD even if you caused your own accident, and your employer may not retaliate against you for doing so.
You must be kept on as an employee until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), at which point you should be permitted to resume your old job or take on a light-duty job if your medical restrictions make it impossible for you to perform your previous duties. If you’re fired for filing a workers’ comp claim in MD, you may bring a personal injury lawsuit against your employer for wrongful termination and our Frederick workers' compensation lawyer can help.
Proving Wrongful Termination
Maryland law prohibits an employer to terminate an employee solely for filing a workers’ comp claim. To win a lawsuit for wrongful termination, you and your Frederick workers' compensation lawyer must prove that filing your claim was the only reason you were fired. You would have strong evidence of wrongful termination if, for example, you were:
- Fired on the same day that your employer became aware of your workers’ comp claim
However, it’s unlikely that an employer who wants to retaliate would make it easy for you to win a lawsuit. Most Maryland workers are at-will employees who can be fired for any lawful reason (or for no reason), so an employer who wants to dismiss you for filing a workers’ comp claim in MD might cite one of the following reasons, even if it’s not true:
- Excessive absence or tardiness
- Inappropriate behavior in the workplace
- Breaking company policies
It’s also possible that a retaliatory employer would wait until you’ve reached MMI, then cite one of the following reasons for firing you:
- Although you’ve reached MMI, you still cannot perform your previous duties, and your employer has no light-duty job opening.
- Accommodating your work restrictions would require a modification of your workspace that your employer cannot afford.
- Even with accommodations, you can no longer perform your work at an acceptable level.
- Because your job duties were essential to your employer’s business, you had to be replaced, and there is no other position available to you.
The Need for an Experienced Frederick Workers' Compensation Lawyer
If you feel the real reason for your dismissal is retaliation for filing a workers’ comp claim in MD, our experienced attorney can look into the circumstances surrounding your termination to determine whether the reason given by your employer is valid. Our Frederick workers' compensation lawyer will:
- Interview co-workers who witnessed your accident and knows your job performance.
- Consult with your doctors and examine medical evidence to determine your ability to return to work with or without restrictions.
- Obtain your company’s official policies and rules for employees.
- Gain access to your work records including absence/tardiness/promotions.
- Find reviews of your job performance and/or any warnings/disciplinary actions.
- Investigate any other instances of employees being fired after filing workers’ comp claims.
If your workers’ comp claim is based on an occupational illness resulting from hazardous workplace conditions that you reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), you might have been terminated in retaliation for “whistle-blowing.” Your Frederick workers' compensation lawyer will also be familiar with OSHA policies and the protections available to you in such circumstances. If your company has dismissed you in retaliation for filing a workers’ comp claim in MD or reporting workplace hazards to OSHA, just the knowledge that you have a lawyer investigating the matter could encourage your employer to:
- Keep you on at your old job or offer you an acceptable light-duty position
- Settle your wrongful termination suit rather than go to trial
- Offer vocational re-training and help in finding you a suitable new position
You can help your attorney to give you the best representation by keeping:
- All receipts and paperwork related to your injury and medical treatment
- Copies of all communications between you and your employer
- A daily journal of your injury/accident and its impact on your ability to work
Have You Been Fired for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim in MD?
Our experienced Frederick workers' compensation lawyer can help you prove retaliation and take appropriate action against your employer. Please contact us online, start a chat, or call us to schedule a free consultation. You pay no attorney fees unless we win your case.