Can an employee in Charleston lose their position while accepting workers compensation benefits?
Charleston, SC – Workers compensation is meant to protect injured workers through compensation for wages and healthcare costs, as well as other benefits that may be related to training. An employee may not be able to work as normal for months or years depending on the severity of their injuries. However, the employer is not supposed to retaliate against an injured work by terminating their position or any other means simply because they filed a claim. Legal help may be necessary for any worker who feels that they have not been treated properly after a bona fide work related injury.
Termination for receiving workers compensation
Employers are usually not permitted from terminating the worker while they are hurt and receiving benefits. Employees in South Carolina may possibly be terminated for issues other than the fact that the claim was filed, as the state uses an “at will” employment relationship. South Carolina’s state laws regarding this issue specifically say that an employee can never be fired as retaliation for a legit workers compensation claim. In some cases, there may be disputes if the employer can show additional reasons for terminating the worker, such as their job performance, company policy violations, or other reasons that are not directly tied to the claim.
The main exception to this rule is if it is obvious that the injured person will never be able to return to their prior job ever again. Some companies may choose to give the worker a different position, rather than ending their employment entirely. As a related matter, some companies will hire temporary workers to replace those who have been hurt and will remain away from their job for several months or longer, but the injured worker will usually be given their same job or comparable employment when they return.
How long can an injured worker stay on workers compensation and keep their job?
The question of retaining employment after an injury is highly fact intensive. Some workers who deal with actions such as heavy lifting or intense manual labor may have trouble finding work in the same career field if they have sustained a serious injury that limits their ability to move and function as normal. If someone is going to be away from their job long term, the company may start to question the financial feasibility of keeping them employed for an extended period of time without their normal productivity.
Help for local work injury cases
The Clekis Law Firm focuses on workers compensation claims in the Charleston, South Carolina area. Any injured worker can get in touch with the firm to learn more about the claim process and defending their rights.
Firm contact info:
171 Church St., Charleston SC, 29401
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