In some job fields, workers may become injured on the job. A workplace injury can be so severe that it requires employees to miss time from work and file workers’ compensation. In some instances, employers retaliate and terminate workers from their position. Recently, a Missouri courtroom issued legal protection for those who are injured from losing their jobs.
Terminating someone for simply filing for workers’ compensation is illegal. In a recent ruling, employees will no longer be subjected to proving that the filing of workers’ compensation was the reason for being fired by their employer in lawsuits. Now, firing someone due to workers’ compensation claims is considered a discriminatory practice under the Missouri Human Rights Act. The president of the Chamber of Commerce may consider attempting to have the court overturn the ruling. He argued that employees should still be required to prove that filing workers’ compensation was a major factor in termination.
The law in Missouri states that employers cannot discriminate or terminate an employee for utilizing the workers’ compensation law. A judge stated that the wording of the law is more in sync with termination being a contributing factor more so than an exclusive factor. The judge also stated that the law should not be re-visited simply because someone changed their mindset.
A workplace injury can be a burden to most who endure it. It’s even more so when an injured worker has been terminated for filing workers’ compensation claims. Under Missouri law, it’s unlawful for any employer to terminate someone from employment simply because the person exercised their rights. Workers who have lost their jobs due to retaliation may have the right to file claims in a civil courtroom for justice.
Source: CBS St. Louis, “Mo. Supreme Court Expands Legal Rights for Injured Workers”, David A. Lieb, April 16, 2014