Can My Employer Fire Me When I am Pursuing or Receiving Workers’ CompensationBenefits?


After a workplace injury, your first course of action will typically be to file an application for workers’ compensation benefits. Based on the type of injury you sustained, it can be months before you are ready to return to work. Can your employer terminate your employment, for any reason, while you are either pursuing or receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits? The answer, as with many things, is that “it depends.”

Under New Jersey law, the only prohibition on an employer regarding the termination of an employee related to workers’ compensation proceeding is that the employer may not fire a worker in retaliation for filing for benefits or for testifying at a workers’ compensation hearing. Because New Jersey is an at-will employment state, an employer may lay off or release an employee at any time for any reason, absent an employment contract, and provided the termination is not in violation of the law or of public policy.

For instance, if your employer terminates you because of your disability, you may be able to file a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA). Your employer must make reasonable accommodations for your disability.

In addition, you may be able to file a discrimination action through the Workers’ Compensation system. To succeed with that type of legal action, though, you will have to demonstrate that you can handle the essential duties of your job.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

We handle all Workers’ Compensation claims on a contingency basis. We won’t charge you attorney fees if we don’t recover compensation for your losses.

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