Our office remains open to serve your important legal needs during these turbulent and challenging times. We are happy to schedule client consultations and client meetings by telephone or video-conference at your request.
Bryan E. Kuhn
Counselor at Law, P.C.
Business & Employment Law Attorney

Can you fire an employee who has an open workers’ compensation claim?

You work hard to be a good employer, and you take your obligations under the law very seriously. You know that it’s illegal to retaliate against an employee for filing a worker’s compensation claim, and you’d never dream of doing something like that.

But does an open workers’ comp claim make an employee “bulletproof,” or otherwise immune from discipline at work? Not hardly.

If you have justification for termination, workers’ comp isn’t a barrier

Good and bad employees alike can end up with workplace injuries, but bad employees sometimes think that an open claim makes them impossible to fire. They use the opportunity to slack off, disrupt the workflow of others and otherwise cause problems.

You can fire an employee with an open workers’ comp claim as long as you have sufficient justification and follow the proper procedures (as outlined in your company handbook or policies). Some examples that can lead to justifiable termination include:

  • Unexcused absenteeism or repeatedly showing up late
  • Insubordination when interacting with their superiors
  • Harassment of their co-workers or clients
  • Failing a random drug or alcohol test
  • Stealing, forging a time sheet or otherwise breaking the rules

Whatever your reason, it’s important to make sure that you fully document your reasoning and any evidence you may have of the employee’s infractions. Keep track of any verbal or written warnings that were issued prior to the “final straw,” as well.

Do you have complex questions about your employment practices?

Employment issues can be incredibly difficult for employers to sort out on their own. Working with an experienced business law attorney when you have serious concerns can keep you from making mistakes that will lead to litigation.

“I used the Bryan E. Kuhn, Counselor at Law, P.C. team to help me with a case. They were always professional, upfront, and positive providing guidance while keeping me informed.”
– L.H.

“Everyone at the firm was professional, responsive and courteous. I would definitely recommend this firm if you are in need of superior legal assistance.”
– J.S.

“Bryan and his law firm operate with great professionalism and personal touch. I appreciated the way he and his team offered transparent communication.”
– N.S.

“The team was very professional in helping me to get through an uncomfortable ADA situation at my workplace. This was a very good legal experience. I would recommend Bryan E. Kuhn & team to anyone who needs work related legal help.”
– D.L.

“Bryan, Katie, and all the staff in this office are super fast to respond, expert in their fields, and always helpful. We have been extremely pleased with their services for our small business.”
– T.Z.

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