Can I get Laid Off While on Workers’ Comp?

The question of whether an employer can fire somebody while they are on workers’ compensation touches on various concepts of employment law. Specifically, this question crosses a worker’s rights concerning what happens after they are injured on-the-job with an employer’s right to terminate somebody from their position. The answer is, yes, a person can be laid off while they are on workers’ comp. However, there are many facets to this issue.

Workers compensation is available for on-the-job injuries

It is important to understand that nearly all employers in Illinois must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This is a “no-fault” system, which means a worker will receive compensation regardless of who was at fault for the injury. In most cases, an employer or a workers’ comp insurer cannot deny a person compensation for medical bills and most of their lost income if they sustain an injury while performing work within the scope of their duties.

can i get laid off while on workers comp

What to do if you’ve been laid off

The answer to whether or not a person can be laid off or fired when they are on workers’ comp In Illinois largely revolves around the reason the employer terminated them. An employer absolutely cannot terminate someone because they have filed a workers’ compensation claim or are on workers’ compensation leave. Every state has laws that prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who ask for and/or receive workers’ compensation.

However, being on workers’ compensation does not give an employee blanket protection from being laid off for other reasons. The laws in Illinois allow employers to terminate someone for just about any reason as long as it does not violate the law. This is considered an “at-will” work state.

When someone is terminated while they are on workers’ compensation leave in Illinois, it can be incredibly difficult to determine whether or not the termination was a result of the worker collecting benefits and leave or for some other reason.

Will workers’ compensation benefits continue if you are laid off?

If you have been laid off while collecting workers’ compensation, you will generally continue to receive benefits. Just because a worker is fired does not mean they lose their right to receive compensation for an injury they sustained on-the-job. You will keep receiving medical benefits, lost wages, and any other assistance you are entitled to until your doctor clears you to return to work. At this point, the employer who terminated you will also likely discontinue workers’ compensation benefits.

When to Consult a Lawyer

You need to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney in Illinois if you are terminated from your position after sustaining an on-the-job injury and you suspect that the termination was due to collecting or attempting to collect workers’ comp benefits. If you were fired due to retaliation for being injured and asking to collect the benefits you deserve under law, your termination may have been illegal. You can count on Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates to ensure you receive the coverage you are entitled to and to look into the reason for your termination. If we discover that your employer acted illegally, we will help you pursue additional compensation for what happened.