Wrongful Termination after a Work-related Injury
By Gregory Thyberg on June 27, 2022
Whether fired or forced to resign, being let go from a job due to a work-related injury may be grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. Wrongful termination lawsuits provide legal recourse to those who were illegally fired or forced to quit after a workplace injury.
At Thyberg Law, attorney Gregory Thyberg helps recover lost wages, punitive damages, and other damages for clients dealing with wrongful termination after a work-related injury in Sacramento, CA, and surrounding areas.
What Is Wrongful Termination?
Not all termination of employment is considered wrongful termination. In Sacramento employers do not need a reason to terminate employment since California is an at-will employment state.
However, if someone is fired in violation of state or federal discrimination and workers’ rights laws, the firing would be considered wrongful termination.
Employees who are fired due to a work-related injury are protected by these laws in most cases and may seek compensation for lost wages as well as punitive damages.
Employers Must Make Reasonable Accommodations
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees who have suffered a workplace injury before firing them because of the injury. This can include schedule changes and other modifications, like allowing an employee to sit while doing their tasks when they may have previously been required to stand.
Terminating someone’s employment after a work-related injury isn’t always wrongful. For example, if an employee’s injuries are too severe for the employee to perform the essential duties of the job and reasonable accommodations would still not make it possible, it may be legal to terminate employment.
What about Forced Resignation?
One way employers try to avoid paying worker’s compensation and unemployment benefits or making reasonable accommodations is by forcing injured employees to resign. Forced resignation is a form of wrongful termination and may be compensated through a wrongful termination claim.
A common example of forced resignation is when an employer tells the employee they must quit or be fired. Other ways forced resignation can occur is when an employer makes the work environment so unbearable that the employee quits.
Recovering Damages for Wrongful Termination
Employers have certain responsibilities to their employees. When a work-related injury happens to an employee, it’s the employer’s duty to reasonably accommodate their employee when they return to work. When reasonable accommodations are refused and employment is terminated it may be possible to recover damages.
In order to recover compensation for wrongful termination after a work-related injury it’s necessary to gather sufficient evidence to support the wrongful termination claim.
An attorney can help gather the needed documentation, such as witness accounts, company emails and internal communications, workplace surveillance footage, and other pertinent information to build a strong case.
Through a wrongful termination case it may be possible to recover such damages as:
- Lost wages
- Lost benefits
- Emotional distress
- Loss of professional reputation
- Punitive damages, which aim to punish the employer for their wrongdoing
Contact Thyberg Law
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, it’s important to speak with a wrongful termination attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a consultation with attorney Gregory Thyberg, call our Sacramento law firm at (916) 204-9173.