After sustaining an on-the-job injury, construction workers often worry that filing a workers' compensation claim will cost them their job. Fortunately, thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's 1998 decision in Shick v. Shirey, it's against the law for an employer to discriminate or fire a worker in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim and pursuing the benefits they're owed.
However, while it's illegal to fire an employee specifically for exercising their lawful rights to workers' compensation, it's still completely legal for employers to fire an employee with an open workers' compensation claim for some other reason.
In fact, as an at-will employment state, Pennsylvania makes it relatively easy for employers to fire workers for any—or no—reason at all.
As a result, unscrupulous employers may take advantage of this loophole when seeking to terminate the employment of an injured worker.
This is often the case when an injured construction worker returns to the job on light or modified duty.
Rather than firing the worker for pursuing compensation for a workplace injury, an employer may instead look for reasons or excuses to let him or her go, such as minor attendance issues, disagreeing with a supervisor, or missing a deadline.
Proving someone was fired in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim can be challenging. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney with experience handling construction accident cases can help employees protect their rights after a workplace injury.
Consult an Experienced Construction Accident Attorney
If you're a construction worker who was injured on the job, Pennsylvania law protects you from employer retaliation related to the pursuit of workers' compensation benefits. However, your company managers may use other tactics to terminate your employment.
Don't leave yourself unprotected. Contact the Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment to discuss the details of your construction accident case. We're here to help you protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.