Can You Be Fired From Your Job If You File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Richmond, Virginia?

Employers in Richmond, Virginia cannot terminate a worker’s employment for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Thus, if you are claiming worker’s compensation, you do not have to fear losing your job once you file. But some employers still file workers while they are getting workers’ compensation or disabled. If you think you are a victim of this retaliatory conduct, speak with an attorney from the Injured Workers Law Firm to know what you can do to protect your rights. Keep reading to learn more about how the workers’ compensation system works in Virginia and how to handle your employer’s response to your filing. 

Can You Be Demanded to Resign?

Although your employer can’t fire you due to your workers’ compensation claim, they can ask you to resign voluntarily. This can occur if you are attempting to secure a settlement for a work-related injury. You may be offered a settlement deal in exchange for your resignation. Such conduct is legal and not considered forced resignation. Because you can choose to take the settlement offer, accepting it indicates your voluntary agreement to the resignation request. 

Can You Be Fired While on Workers’ Comp?

Under state law, you are protected from being fired due to your claim. But this may not stop your employer from doing otherwise. This is because employers in the state have the discretion to retain or fire their workers they can fire workers for any legal reason. If your employer is not satisfied with your job performance or they cannot afford to continue to employ you, they let you go legally. Following your termination, the benefits you are getting must continue as long as your award is in effect. 

Steps to Take After Being Fired Due to Your Claim

If your employer has fired you and you think it has to do with your workers’ comp claim, speak with a skilled employment law attorney immediately. Under the law, you can bring a case to court to seek damages. If your lawsuit succeeds, you will be able to get damage, interest, and back pay. Make sure to act with your attorney as soon as possible since you still have to collect evidence to prove your retaliation claim. 

What Happens to Your Benefits When You Resign

If you resign from your job voluntarily while receiving workers’ compensation, this may not impact your medical benefits, although this can decrease your wage-loss benefits. Your medical benefits remain in effect forever, which means you will receive coverage for future medical costs associated with your work injury. Meanwhile, wage-loss benefits are a bit more complicated. 

If your treating doctor says you can’t perform any type of work, you shouldn’t take on any job. Otherwise, you will violate the work restrictions, which could be solid grounds for the insurer to stop your wage-loss benefits. 

If you have been released for light-duty work, your doctor may allow you to perform some tasks with certain restrictions to follow. You may need to switch jobs while being on light-duty status. But you will not get extra wage-loss payments if you are paid less than your previous job. At best, the rate of your existing wage-loss benefits does not change. 

In addition, it is important to keep in mind that even if you quit your job, you can still get a settlement. But the workers’ comp rules have plenty of exceptions and insurers will always look for loopholes to stop your benefits. So, before you make big decisions about your employment, speak with a lawyer first and get legal advice. The right attorney will guide you as you navigate the legal landscape and help you seek the maximum compensation you deserve. 

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