As a New Jersey employee, your employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance. After a workplace injury or illness, the insurer will cover the associated medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages if you are unable to go to work.
These benefits can help you get back on your feet and recover. However, like many people, you may fear that you will lose your job if you file a claim.
Can your employer fire you for pursuing workers’ compensation?
Your employer may not fire you or otherwise retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Other forms of retaliation could include:
- Demotions or undesirable transfers
- Verbal reprimands or abuse
- Exclusion from work-related activities, like meetings or special events
- Poor performance evaluations
- Any kind of harassment
Your boss is also prohibited from discriminating against you for any disability, whether temporary or permanent, that results from your injury or illness.
Are you protected from losing your job altogether?
New Jersey is an at-will employment state, meaning your employer can terminate your position for any reason that does not violate the law. Though your boss cannot fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, they can let you go for another reason.
Sometimes an employer will wrongly insist they have fired an injured worker for a reason unrelated to the injury. If you believe you have lost your job or if you are facing harassment because of a workers’ compensation claim, you can file a complaint with the Division of Workers’ Compensation.