Trial-Ready Attorneys in St. Louis

Can I Be Fired for Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim?

This is a complicated question, with an equally complicated answer: It depends. Missouri is an “at will” employment state, which means, generally, employers can fire an employee at any time for any reason; or for no reason at all.

Retaliation Lawsuits

Missouri workers’ compensation law does not require the employer to hold your job while you recover from your injury. However, there are protections for injured workers in the form of retaliation lawsuits. The law prohibits employers from firing or otherwise retaliating against an employee for filing a workers' compensation claim. Not surprisingly, employers often try to discourage employees from making workers’ compensation claims, especially employers who are self-insured (meaning they pay the workers' compensation benefits out of their own pockets rather than through an insurance provider). If this happens, you may have reason to file a retaliation claim against your employer.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA is a federal law that requires employers to hold your job if a medical condition prevents you from working for a period of time. The leave is without pay. The law requires a certification of your condition by a medical doctor and is limited to 52 weeks. These laws are complicated, and if you believe you have not been treated fairly, you should contact an attorney experienced in this area of the law.

Workers’ Comp & Employee Terminations

You are owed your work comp benefits even if you have been fired. ​An employer cannot avoid their workers’ compensation obligation by terminating an employee. As such, if you have been leg go from your place of work, please know you are still entitled to all of you work comp benefits, including: medical care, TTD, and permeant impairment.

If, however, you are fired on the grounds of misconduct, your employer is not obligated to pay TTD benefits; however, they will still have to pay medical and permanent injury benefits. Employers sometimes make up a reason to fire you “for cause” or misconduct in order to avoid their TTD obligation. If this happens, you should talk to an experienced workers’ comp attorney because you may have cause to file a retaliation lawsuit.

How Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C. Can Help

Backed by more than 35 years of experience working in the legal field, at Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C., we are committed to helping employees who have been injured in a work-related accident. We offer a free consultation so you can discuss your concerns with an experienced lawyer at our office. Contact us online or call our St. Louis office at (314) 635-7606 to schedule your free initial consultation.

When you meet with us, make sure to ask about:

  • Evening and weekend appointments
  • Home and hospital visits
  • No attorneys fees unless you collect

Fill out a free case evaluation form to get in touch today.