Friday, September 13, 2013

Injured at work in Virginia & fired: what should you do?

You were injured on the job and now you are fired. Some tips.


Fired as retaliation for your accident

If you are fired as a retaliation for filing an injury claim, you have a right under Virginia Law (Section 65.2-308 of the Code of Virginia) to sue your employer. You can recover actual damages and attorney's fees in this type of lawsuit. You may have to contact a "wrongful discharge attorney" who specializes in employment law.


Fired for testing positive for drugs after your accident

If you are fired because you tested positive for drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, you need to contact an experienced workers compensation attorney. The employer may have a right to fire you for a violation of its anti-drug policy but you still may be able to receive workers' compensation if the drugs or alcohol did not "cause" the accident. The attorney may be able to show by a pathologist your drug or alcohol level was not the "cause" of the accident.


Fired for misconduct after your accident

If you are fired after you return to work after an accident and are placed on light duty, you may lose your workers' compensation benefits if the employer can show you were fired for misconduct such as violation of a drug policy, absenteeism, insubordination, fighting, etc.


Fired for any reason

If you return to work with the same employer where you suffered your work injury, the employer may look for an excuse to fire you. Thus, you must be aware the employer may look for an legitimate reason to fire you when you return. Therefore, you must be extra careful that you do not give the employer a legitimate reason to terminate your employment such as absenteeism, tardiness, insubordination, fighting, etc.


Fired while on light duty

If you are fired from your job and you still have work restrictions as a result of your on the job accident, you can file with the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission to go back on workers' compensation benefits provided the termination of employment was not due to your own misconduct and provided you are within two (2) years of the last date you received workers' compensation benefits.

Additional Resources

Summary, it is bad enough to be injured on the job. It can add "insult to your injury" if you are also fired as a result of your accident. There are certain things you need to know if this happens. I have listed some "tips" about this scenario. The main thing to know if this happens is you should first consult an experienced workers' compensation attorney and then perhaps a wrongful discharge attorney.
If you want a free consultation on your Virginia Workers' Compensation Case: call now at804-358-4766 or 1-800-256-8862 or email me at

This may be considered AN ADVERTISEMENT or Advertising Material under the Rules of Professional Conduct governing lawyers in Virginia. This note is designed for general information only. The information presented in this note should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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