Will I Lose My Workers’ Compensation Benefits if I am Laid Off or Fired?
After an on-the-job injury, you are probably already under stress due to pain and medical treatments that may be unpleasant. Unfortunately, in today’s economy, you may also be concerned about your company’s financial situation. Businesses have closed in record numbers over the past few years while others have been forced into bankruptcy. This may lead you to wonder what happens to your workers’ compensation benefits if the company files bankruptcy or closes completely.
Bankruptcy and Workers’ Compensation
Corporate bankruptcy does not necessarily mean that your workers’ compensation benefits will end. In some cases, companies enter what is known as Chapter 11 bankruptcy in which their debts are reorganized, but the company can remain operational. Even if the company files Chapter 7, which liquidates all assets and effectively closes the business, your worker’s compensation benefits may not be affected. Workers’ compensation payments are normally paid by an insurance company, so as long as your employer remained current on their payments, you will continue to receive benefits. If the company allowed workers’ compensation to lapse, you may still be able to obtain benefits from other sources and your employer will face fines as well as possible criminal charges.
Workers’ Compensation After Layoff
In some cases, your company may remain in business, but in order to cut costs, they may need to layoff employees. If you are not working due to a workplace injury, you are not immune from being included in layoffs, but your benefits should not change. Even if you have returned to work but are on work restrictions, your benefits should remain the same even after a layoff. If you are continuing to receive workers’ compensation benefits even after you have returned to work, the workers’ compensation company must continue to pay reasonable and necessary medical expenses after a layoff.
What If I Get Fired?
In Pennsylvania, it is illegal for an employer to fire you simply because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. However, an employer can let you go if you have a disability that will keep you out of work for a long period or if you will never be able to return to your current position and they do not have another position for you. If you are fired for cause, such as repeated tardiness or other policy infraction, it is still possible you will be able to collect workers’ compensation for your injury.
If you or a loved one has suffered a workplace injury and are concerned about being fired, laid off or the company closing, contact the worker’s compensation attorneys at Lundy Law to learn what rights you may have. Hiring an attorney does not mean you plan to sue your employer. In fact, Pennsylvania law does not allow lawsuits for workplace injuries in most cases.
The attorneys at Lundy Law will simply fight to get you the compensation you are entitled to under the law. You can arrange for an initial consultation at 1-800-Lundy Law or through the online query form.