If you are injured or become ill at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation under New Jersey law. Workers’ compensation is mandatory for most employers in New Jersey, and it is designed to provide benefits for employees who are unable to earn a living (either temporarily or permanently) because of an injury or illness suffered on the job.
While many employees worry that they will lose their job if they file for workers’ compensation, the law is clear: Your employer cannot fire you because you filed a claim for workers’ comp. Your employer also cannot demote you, cut your pay, or take any other retaliatory action based upon your decision to exercise your legal rights.
What if I Am an At-Will Employee?
If you are an at-will employee (meaning that you do not have an employment contract and your employer can choose to terminate your employment at any time with or without cause), the same rules apply. Most workers are at-will employees, and these workers have the same rights as those who are under contract. In fact, a contract has nothing to do with your rights after filing a workers’ comp claim. The law protects all employees from retaliation for filing for workers’ comp.
What if Other Employees have Lost Their Jobs after Filing for Workers’ Comp?
If other employees have lost their jobs after filing for workers’ comp, your employer may be violating the law. It is important not to rush to judgment on this – there are still legal ways for employers to fire injured employees – but it is also important to plan ahead to protect your legal rights. Unfortunately, some employers do violate the law, and as an injured worker, you will want to make sure that you are fully prepared to address this type of situation. Our attorneys can help.
What if I have Already Been Fired for Filing for Workers’ Comp?
If you have been fired after filing for workers’ compensation benefits, you may have a claim for wrongful retaliation. This would be in addition to your claim for workers’ comp. Workers’ comp provides benefits that cover your medical bills and a portion of your lost income while you are unable to do your job; a retaliation claim could cover all of your back pay and provide additional financial compensation. You may even be able to seek reinstatement in your old position.
Speak with a New Jersey Workers’ Comp Lawyer at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo
Our attorneys have decades of experience representing injured workers in New Jersey. If you are concerned about retaliation at work after filing for workers’ compensation, we encourage you to contact us right away so that we can review your case and/or refer you to a competent employment law attorney. Call (888) 675-7607 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.