In New York, being on workers’ compensation does not provide absolute job protection. However, there are certain legal protections in place to prevent employers from terminating employees solely because they filed a workers’ compensation claim. Here’s an overview of the relevant protections:
- New York Workers’ Compensation Law: Under New York law, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for exercising their rights under the workers’ compensation system. This includes terminating an employee or taking adverse employment actions solely based on their workers’ compensation claim.
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): If you are eligible for and covered by the FMLA, your employer is generally prohibited from terminating you while you are on an approved FMLA leave. FMLA provides job protection for up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for eligible employees to address their own serious health condition, including work-related injuries.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): In cases where a work-related injury results in a disability, the ADA may also provide some protection. The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations, if feasible, to enable employees to perform their job duties.
It’s important to note that these protections do not make an employee immune to termination or provide indefinite job security. An employer may terminate an employee on workers’ compensation if they have valid reasons that are unrelated to the claim or injury, such as company-wide layoffs, legitimate performance issues, or misconduct.
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated while on workers’ compensation in New York, it’s advisable to consult with an employment attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation and employment law. They can assess your specific situation, advise you on your rights, and guide you on the appropriate legal actions to take.