Employers will generally do everything they can to exert control over employees, especially when it comes to leave. Businesses do not want to employ individuals who are not actively working, and those people who take leave often are sometimes on the chopping block as soon as they inform their boss. The company must act smartly to not get hit with any discrimination lawsuit if it fires the individual. If you were targeted or terminated after taking leave after suffering injuries from an accident, you could fight back and file a lawsuit against the company. Various laws dictate the circumstances during which your company can fire you. Our law firm, the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group, will fight for your rights as a worker and will win you the compensation you deserve if you were fired after injuries from an accident. Some of the questions we often receive include:
- Can I get fired after a motorcycle accident?
- Can I be fired after a burn injury?
- My company fired me after a ladder fall, what do I do?
- My boss fired me after a head injury, now what?
- What if I was fired after a brain injury?
- Can I get fired after having surgery from an accident?
Accidents, Injuries and Your Career
There are many different types of accidents that can impact your ability to work. Motorcycle accidents, for instance, are often very serious because of the lack of protection the motorcycle provides. A rider can be thrown from the motorcycle and suffer blunt force trauma that could sideline him for weeks or months.
Head injuries may leave you with a concussion or an inability to think properly. You could also have your cognitive ability, balance, and reasoning affected. Brain injuries function similarly and may take weeks to subside, if they ever do.
If you were injured at work, you could file a worker’s compensation claim and seek benefits and coverage. However, if you were not hurt at work, your company may not have any reason to keep you around. You could have been hurt because of the negligent action of another driver or because another party was careless. But if you are unable to show up to work and complete your duties, your business may simply see it as prudent to move forward without you.
Laws Determining Leave and Termination
In California, employment is at-will. This means that you can be fired at any point in time for any reason as long as the reason is not illegal. You can also quit at any time for any reason without having to provide notice. The exception to this is if you have a contract with your employer; you both must abide by the terms or you can face repercussions.
Despite at-will employment, you can still take unpaid leave legally and without worry of losing your job. This is thanks to the Federal Family Medical Leave Act, which allows individuals the ability to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave with job protection. They do not have to receive any wages in that time period; if they do wish to pursue payment, they can apply for short term or long term disability, which will afford them a slice of their wages while injured. If you exercise your right to leave under the FMLA, your employer cannot fire you. He is allowed to hire someone else in your place, but if you return to work, he must either give you our old job back or provide you with a job that is substantially similar. He cannot relocate you to another position that you have no training for and expect you to learn – and he certainly cannot do that with the intention of firing you for a poor performance.
There are changes that can occur, such as moving you from full time to part time or laying you off, but it is necessary that your employer proves that these changes were going to occur with or without your leave occurring. That is, they must have been business-related decisions or consequences and you had no bearing on the decisions.
During your unpaid leave, your employer is required to continue providing coverage for your health insurance. This will allow you to get the treatment you need while you’re away from work; you will not have worry about paying high out of pocket costs or exorbitant fees because you have no insurance.
In order to be covered by the FMLA, though, the company you work for must have at least 50 employees located within 75 miles of one another, and you must have been working at the company for a year – with at least 1,250 hours clocked in the previous year. These limitations can be hard for some people, especially those who just started a job or for those who are employed by small or local businesses.
If you do not take leave under the FMLA, your job will not be protected. If you take a day longer than the 12 weeks of allotted time, your employer can legally terminate you. It is important that you adhere to the correct lengths of time for your leave, and if you must take longer, you should have a talk with your employer.
Filing a Claim for Wrongful Dismissal after an Accident or Injury
If you wish to sue your employer because you were wrongfully fired after suffering an injury or accident, you will need substantial proof. This proof can be difficult to get if you were not in work in the aftermath of the accident and you were fired while still on leave.
First, it is important that you prove that you were seriously injured in an accident of some kind. You should provide proof of medical treatment, ambulatory receipts, medical bills, X-ray results, MRI results, doctor’s notes, and more. You can also provide photos of the injuries you suffered to illustrate the extent of the damage.
Next, you should get proof that you requested leave and that your company and you are eligible to take it. You can provide any emails or messages you sent to your boss, or any notes or texts that were delivered.
If there were any coworkers who can testify to seeing or hearing that you were taking leave, you can add their statements to your claim. Additionally, they may have overheard plans to fire you despite you being on leave. Their testimonies could be extremely important to your lawsuit. However, it is very difficult at times to get this kind of proof. Coworkers may not want to risk being retaliated against or getting mistreated because they provided information that could harm the company.
When you have proof that you were fired during leave, you should contact an attorney with experience in wrongful termination lawsuits. We can ensure that your evidence is organized and coherent. We will hire expert witnesses to testify on your behalf and we will do everything in our power to win your case. You may not have any legal experience, and it is wise to let an expert employment lawyer proceed with your claim.
Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Compensation
You can receive a fair amount of compensation if you were wrongfully terminated after surgery or after an accident. You may be able to have your job reinstated, for one, so that you do not have to worry about going back on the job market and interviewing while you do not have income flowing in. however, many individuals choose to avoid returning to their old jobs, especially if there were bad experiences or discrimination in some way.
You can also receive coverage for lost benefits and income from the time you were not working. Your employer should be held accountable if the reason for the termination was illegal. Commissions, wags, bonuses, tips, and more can all be reimbursed.
In some scenarios, pain and suffering damages can be given out. These are emotional damages that arise after the incident; they can cover mental scarring, anxiety, fear, and more.
How We Help
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group can ensure that your wrongful termination lawsuit is a success. If you were fired after surgery or fired after an accident, your employer should be held accountable if he violated the FMLA. Our lawyers are aggressive and skilled, and we have years of experience representing employees who were wronged by their businesses. We are willing to go to court if we have to in order to defend your rights as a worker in front of a judge and jury.
For a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, you can call us today. We will answer your questions, tell you what we think your claim is worth, and help you understand the legal process. If you hire us to represent you, we will also give you our zero fee guarantee. This means that you will not have to spend a dime of your own money on the case – we will cover the costs and if we win, our fees will come from the employer. If we lose, you are charged nothing and we receive no payment.
To sue your employer after wrongful termination due to surgery or an accident, contact the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group today.