New Jersey’s workers compensation system is designed to protect and help workers who are injured on the job or suffer a work-related illness. Many workers, from Jersey City to Trenton, may fear that they will be fired for filing a workers comp claim or reporting an accident at work. In this blog post, we’ll review the workers compensation benefit system and whether or not you can be fired on workers comp in New Jersey.
Can You Be Fired for Filing a Workers Compensation Claim in New Jersey?
No, a New Jersey employer cannot fire you for filing a workers compensation claim. It is illegal for an employer to let you go because you filed a claim. In that event, you may be able to file a retaliation complaint or lawsuit.
New Jersey employment law defines retaliation when an “employer penalizes an employee for asserting their workplace rights.” In practice, this means that an employer who fires an employee -- a negative action -- for asserting their right to workers compensation -- a workplace right -- is in violation of the law. If you believe that your employer retaliated against you for filing a workers compensation claim in New Jersey, you may file a complaint against them. An experienced, highly-rated employment lawyer like those with Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, can help you prove your case and seek compensation for your losses.
Leaving a Job While on Workers Comp
There are some scenarios, however, where leaving a job voluntarily or a lay off could affect your eligibility for benefits. What type of workers compensation benefits you are receiving may determine whether or not they will continue after you leave a job.
Workers compensation covers the costs of medical bills related to the accident or illness that occured in the workplace. Regardless of the reason you lose your job, these benefits will continue.
Temporary Total Disability
Temporary disability benefits are available to workers who miss more than 7 days of work due to their workplace injury or illness. If you qualify for these benefits, you will receive 70% of your weekly income, up to the state maximum. These benefits continue until you can return to work. If you can no longer work due to the injury, after a period of time, you would then be eligible for permanent benefits.
If you quit your job while on temporary total disability for workers compensation, you may not continue to qualify for benefits. In order to receive these benefits, you will need to prove your lost income which wouldn’t be possible without continued employment.
If your injury or illness is severe and you need to be out of work for a long period of time, your employer may be able to legally let you go. This does not necessarily mean that your benefits will stop. The workers compensation insurance system may continue to pay your claim if you cannot work and you were let go without cause.
Permanent Partial or Total Disability
Once temporary disability benefits are exhausted, and if you still cannot return your work, you may be eligible for permanent benefits. These benefits may be deemed ‘partial’ or ‘total’, depending on the extent of the injury. You will be paid 75% of your weekly income, up to the state maximum, for a period of 450 weeks. If you still cannot return to work, these benefits may continue.
Help with Your Workers Compensation Claim
You have the right to file a claim for benefits after suffering a work-related injury; however, receiving fair compensation for your bills and lost wages can be challenging. At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we are dedicated to assisting clients throughout New Jersey and New York with their employment law and workers’ compensation cases. We have years of experience and the extensive resources you need to secure a fair case result.
Our top-rated employment attorneys and workers comp lawyers will handle your case and make sure you get the benefits you need to recover from your injury and move forward. If you’ve been injured or your claim has recently been denied, contact us immediately to understand your options.