Central Business District, New York

Can You Be Fired While on Workers’ Compensation? October 18, 2018

Central Business District, Rochester
Can You Be Fired While on Workers’ Compensation?, Rochester, New York

Workers’ compensation is a unique type of insurance covering lost wages and medical costs for individuals who are hurt on the job. Employers are legally required to have this coverage in case one of their workers is injured. What happens if you are receiving workers’ compensation but then get fired? The answer varies depending on where you live. Here’s what residents of New York state need to know.

When You Can Get Fired Under NY Workmans Comp Law

Under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, you may be entitled to receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, during which time your job is protected. Until this three-months mark is up, you have the right to return to your job. Check with your employer if you are eligible for FMLA protection.

Beyond this, it is technically permissible to fire an employee while they are receiving workmans comp benefits. However, the employer is not allowed to fire you as a means of retaliation for seeking these benefits. They have to provide a justifiable reason.

Say, for instance, your employer can’t wait for your injuries to heal so you can return to work. Assuming you don’t have an employment contract, they can let you go.

What to Do if You Were Fired While Receiving Benefits

workers' compensationWhat happens to your money? Workers’ compensation will still pay out until you receive a medical release confirming that you can return to work. If you have already returned to work part-time, you can still receive restricted benefits that proportionally reflect this.

If you feel you have been fired unfairly—for instance, because you are eligible for FMLA protection and the employer let you go before the aforementioned 12-week mark—talk to an attorney. A local lawyer familiar with the state’s regulations can examine the case to determine whether your employer violated any laws.


Need a workers comp lawyer in Monroe County, NY? Look to Vincent J. Criscuolo & Associates. These attorneys provide their clients with fair, honest, and knowledgeable legal counsel. They are known for their friendly service and extraordinary work that reaps results. To schedule a consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation case, call (585) 232-3240. Visit their website to learn more about their services.

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