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Fired After an Injury at Work in NJ: Is It Legal and What Can I Do About It?

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Fired After an Injury at Work in NJ: Is It Legal and What Can I Do About It?

Fired After an Injury at Work in NJ: Is It Legal and What Can I Do About It?

Suffering an injury at work is a significant event, and the aftermath can often be just as stressful—especially if it affects your employment. In New Jersey, employees who find themselves terminated after sustaining a workplace injury are left wondering about their rights and the legal recourse available to them. This article explores whether it is legal to be fired after a workplace injury in New Jersey and what steps you can take if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

Understanding Legal Protection for Injured Workers

The Role of Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the Workers’ Compensation Act is designed to provide a safety net for employees who sustain injuries in the course of their employment. This act requires employers to provide necessary medical treatments and compensate for lost wages through their insurance, regardless of who was at fault for the injury. This system also aims to protect employees from being unfairly penalized for injuries sustained on the job.

Key Protections Under the Workers’ Compensation Act

  • Workers’ Compensation Act: This act ensures that employees who are injured while performing their duties receive necessary medical treatment and compensation for lost wages.
  • Anti-Retaliation Protection: It is illegal for an employer to fire someone for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Legal Grounds for Termination Despite Workers’ Compensation Claims

While anti-retaliation laws protect employees from being fired for claiming workers’ compensation benefits, these protections do not guarantee job security. An employer may legally terminate an injured employee if they can demonstrate that the termination is based on:

  • Legitimate Business Reasons: Employers can legally terminate an injured employee if they can demonstrate that the termination is due to economic reasons or other non-discriminatory factors.
  • Permanent Incapacity: If after reasonable accommodations, you are still unable to perform your essential job functions, an employer may legally terminate your employment.

Steps to Take if You Are Fired After a Work Injury

Step 1: Understand the Stated Reason for Termination

The first step is to clarify the reason provided by your employer for your termination. This understanding can help determine whether the dismissal might be retaliatory or otherwise unlawful.

Step 2: Seek Legal Counsel

It’s crucial to seek advice from an attorney who specializes in personal injury and employment law. They can offer a strategic evaluation of your situation and guide you on the best legal pathways, taking into account the nuances of New Jersey laws.

Step 3: Explore a Retaliatory Termination Claim

If evidence suggests that your termination was in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may have grounds to file a retaliatory termination lawsuit against your employer. Such claims can not only seek reinstatement but also compensation for lost wages and other damages.

Step 4: Investigate Disability Discrimination

Under federal and state laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. If your work-related injury qualifies as a disability and your employer failed to accommodate you, this could form the basis of a discrimination claim.

Step 5: Document Everything

Maintaining detailed records is essential. Document all communications with your employer regarding your injury and termination, as well as any medical records and reports from your doctor. These documents are vital for supporting any legal claims you may pursue.

Contact Personal Injury Attorneys at Bramnick Law Today to Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Work Injury Case

Being terminated after sustaining an injury at work presents a significant challenge, entangled with aspects of workers’ compensation, employment law, and disability rights. If you are dealing with such a situation in New Jersey, it’s vital to be informed about your legal rights and the protections available to you. The knowledgeable attorneys at Bramnick Law are dedicated to assisting injured workers. We can help you understand and assert your rights, ensuring that you receive the guidance and representation you need during this trying time.

To schedule a free consultation and discuss your work injury claim, contact us today. Our experienced attorneys are committed to supporting New Jersey workers who have been unfairly treated after an injury. Let us help you navigate your legal options and work towards a favorable resolution.




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