Do I have a case for wrongful termination ifI was fired after getting hurt at work?

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Do I have a case for wrongful termination ifI was fired after getting hurt at work?

Today I was fired from my job at a family owned pet shop. A little over a month ago I got hurt at work (I’m 106 pounds) and I was required to move 550 pounds on a crappy dolly. Needless to say I fell. The owner was in that day and didn’t tell me to go to the doctor or anything. I went the next day and my back was hurting. The doctor took me out of work. I was allowed to back to work about 2 weeks ago with restrictions. Then a week later without. They couldn’t put me on the schedule until it was over.

Asked on February 7, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to speak to an employment attorney. There are some limitations on an employer's ability to terminate an employee, such as if the employee is disabled (permanently or temporarily), but those limitations themselves have limitations or restrictions: the employee must provide medical evidence of the disability; the employee must ask for any reasonable accomodations necessary to do the job; and there must be some job the employee can do with accomodations.

Also, if someone is injured at work, they may be eligible for worker's compensation. However, while a worker cannot be fired for making a worker's comp claim, worker's compensation does not otherwise protect the job. However, again, claims are made on your behalf--you have to ask for worker's compensation.

Therefore, you *might* have a wrongful termination claim and *might* be eligible for compensation, but it depends on the specific circumstances and its also incumbent on you to take some steps. If you are simply silent, the employer may be entitled to terminate you. That's why you need to consult with an attorney, to both determine exactly what your rights are and to also take whatever steps are appropriate.


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