Are you worried that your employer may fire you or retaliate against you for making a work comp claim? The good news is that Missouri law provides protection against discrimination in the workplace for pursuing your work comp rights. Navigating the complexities of workers' compensation claims and employment rights can be difficult, especially after a workplace injury. Specific statutes in Missouri are in place to safeguard employees from discrimination or retaliation for exercising their legal right to make workers' compensation claims. However, there are limitations and exceptions to these rights, particularly in cases of post-injury misconduct or physical inability to perform job tasks due to permanent disabilities.
Missouri Law: A Protective Barrier Against Discrimination and Retaliation
Workers' compensation laws in Missouri play an important role in protecting employees from retaliation or discrimination for filing a claim. Key safeguards include:
- Termination Protection: Missouri law forbids employers from firing an employee solely for filing a workers' compensation claim.
- Discrimination Protection: Discrimination against an employee because they filed a workers' compensation claim is strictly prohibited.
- Retaliation Protection: It is forbidden to take any unfavorable action against an employee because of a work comp claim, such as demotion, reduced hours, or harassment.
Noncompliance with these laws may subject employers to civil action, which may result in a damage award in your favor for lost wages and other losses. The law is designed to provide a compliance mechanism to prevent your employer from unfairly denying you your rights.
Exceptions include post-injury misconduct and lawful termination.
Despite these safeguards, Missouri law permits the lawful termination of an employee for post-injury misconduct. This means that businesses can still enforce their workplace standards and policies. Examples of typical post-injury behavior that could result in termination include:
- Violations of security standards
- Fraudulent or theft-related acts
- Violence in the workplace
Employers must ensure that such instances are thoroughly documented in order to prove that the termination was not related to the work comp injury claim.
Post-Injury Physical Restrictions and Employment Rights
Missouri law does not require businesses to find alternative employment or keep an injured worker's position if they are unable to do their job due to permanent restrictions after medical treatment. However, laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may oblige employers to offer reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities.
As with any legal matter, each circumstance is unique and should be reviewed by your lawyer.
Missouri's workers' compensation laws seek to achieve a compromise between safeguarding injured workers' rights and allowing employers to maintain workplace standards. While the law protects employees who submit workers' compensation claims, it also recognizes the potential of justifiable termination under specific conditions.
Consult with a Missouri personal injury law firm, like Aaron Sachs & Associates, who focus on workers' compensation law and employment rights. Knowledgeable legal counsel can assist you in understanding your rights and help you obtain the results you deserve. Don’t let your employer bully you or retaliate against you. You have rights and need an ally and advocate to help you protect what you are entitled to receive.