Were you recently injured in a
workplace accident? If so, you may be worried that if you file a workers’ compensation
claim, you’ll lose your job. While it’s unfortunate that many
Georgia employees think this way, it’s not without justification.
It’s a reasonable concern because while employers are NOT supposed
to let employees go for filing workers’ compensation claims,
it does happen. The real question, is this practice legal?
According to the
Georgia Secretary of State, “Georgia recognizes the doctrine of employment at will. Employment
at will means that in the absence of a written contract of employment
for a defined duration, an employer may terminate an employee for good
cause, bad cause, or no cause at all, so long as it is not an illegal
cause.” So, what counts as an illegal cause for termination? Illegal
causes of termination include firing people because of any of the following:
- Race, color, sex, religion and national origin as protected under Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
- Sexual orientation;
- Disability; and
It is illegal for employers to terminate injured employees out of
retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. This does, however, happen
because many employees are familiar with Georgia’s at will employment
law, but they are not familiar with the fact that it’s illegal for
employers to fire employees for filing workers’ compensation claims.
Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Law
According to the
Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, “The law requires any business with three or more workers, including
regular part-time workers, to have workers’ compensation insurance.”
If you are approved for benefits, “You are entitled to weekly income
benefits if you are unable to work for more than 7 days. Your first check
should be mailed to you within 21 days after the first day you missed
work,” says the Board.
If you were injured in a workplace accident and are unable to work, you
should contact our firm for assistance
filing a claim. If you’re concerned that you’ll lose your job, remember, it’s
against the law for your employer to fire you out of
To learn more about your rights to compensation and to discuss filing a
third party claim in addition to a workers’ compensation claim,
contact Jones & Swanson today.