If I got fired from my job because I was injured doing a job that I wasn’t trained for, what are my rights?

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If I got fired from my job because I was injured doing a job that I wasn’t trained for, what are my rights?

I got my hand stuck in a machine. My supervisor and the plant manager told me that I wouldn’t be fired and that I should just come back into work as I normally would and they’d find me something to do until I got my staples out. The injury occurred in a part of the plant where I wasn’t trained and they sent me over there anyway.  Now I’m being investigated and I’m suspended for 3 days with no pay. Additionally, they told me there’s a chance I may lose my job.

Asked on October 25, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may wish to speak with an employment attorney, since there's  no easy answer here. As a general matter, you may not be fired for placing (or because they believe you may place) a worker's compensation claim, or file a some sort  of workplace safety complaint. On the other hand, a worker can be fired for showing bad judgment, doing a bad job, or simply because they believe that he or she is a bad fit to the job. So in a case like this, there are conditions under which your firing would be improper, such as if it's retaliation for filing a claim or complaint you are allowed to file; and there are circumstances under which you could be terminated, such as if you aren't appropriate for the position. You need an attorney to evaluate the circumstances in detail with you.


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