Can My Employer Fire Or Terminate Me While I’m Out Of Work Because Of A Work Injury?
Yes. Unfortunately, your employer can fire you or lay you off even though you are out of work because of a work injury. REASON? Most employees are “at will“ employees which means that they were not hired under a specific employment contract. “At Will” employees can be fired for ANY reason short of a constitutional violation such as being fired because of your religious beliefs or, because of your gender (male or female). You cannot stop your employer from letting you go even if at the time you are out of work because of a work injury. There is nothing in the Pa WC Act that prevents this from happening. But, an employer who does this puts themselves in a worse position, should you recover enough to be able to return to work in some capacity. By firing you or by laying you off, you no longer have a job to go back to so by law your employer has to continue paying you workers’ compensation benefits until they show that there is other work available to you with a different employer within the restrictions caused by your injury.