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January 20th, 2014

I slipped and fell at work in Philadelphia. Can my employer fire me for filing a workers’ compensation claim?

It is well established in Pennsylvania that employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims. Employees absolutely have the right and should file workers’ compensation claims for work injuries, and they should be able to do so without worrying about job security. In most situations, an injured worker will file a workers’ compensation claim with no problem. However, in some cases, retaliation may be an issue.

If an employer makes an adverse employment decision as a result of an employee’s workers’ compensation claim, the employee may have a separate legal action against the employer, such as a wrongful termination action or an action for retaliation. Retaliation claims are also common when a worker files a report with federal government agencies, such as OSHA, and is then “punished” at work. Click here to visit the OSHA.gov website page about retaliation claims.

It is important to note that in these separate actions, the adverse employment action must be directly tied to the employee’s workers’ compensation claim. In other words, if an employee engages in behavior which would explain an adverse employment decision, the employer may be off the hook. For instance, an employee makes a workers’ compensation claim, but then begins stealing when on the job, and the employee is then fired. In this situation, it would be very difficult to prove that that firing occurred due to the workers’ compensation claim.

If you filed a workers’ compensation claim and feel that your employer took action in retaliation, it is crucial to speak to a lawyer immediately.

It is also important to note that injured workers often have valid claims against other, non-employer parties, especially in workplace slip and fall accidents. For instance, for a fall accident which occurred in the parking lot of an office building, a parking lot management company or building contractor may be liable for negligent maintenance. A maintenance worker who slips and falls at a customer’s property may have a valid claim against the customer.

Related: Fall Down Accidents at Work – When to Find a Lawyer

Philadelphia Work Accident & Injury Law Firm

Our Philadelphia work accident and injury lawyers offer free consultations to all injured workers. Please call Click To Call.

**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.