What is retaliatory discharge, and what does it have to do with workers’ compensation?

Retaliatory discharge is firing an employee because they are pursuing workers’ compensation. If you are injured on the job, you should have your medical bills and time off of work covered by worker’s compensation, and you shouldn’t have to worry about getting fired for taking advantage of workers’ compensation. That is why, in Kentucky, retaliatory discharge is illegal. It is also illegal to discriminate against, coerce or harass an employee that is pursuing workers’ compensation.

How retaliatory discharge works with at-will employment. 

At-will employment means that an employee can be discharged for “good cause, bad cause or no cause at all”, which makes it seem like firing an employee for taking advantage of workers’ compensation would be legal, but luckily, there are restrictions. The “at-will doctrine” is in place to protect employees from employer abuse, such as terminating an employee because they refused to break the law at their employer’s request, they reported a law that was violated, they engaged in acts that benefit public interest (like performing jury duty) or they pursued workers’ compensation.

For people that have been terminated while pursuing workers’ compensation, there are steps that you can take to get the justice that you deserve, and Sullivan Law office can help. There are several requirements that you will have to meet in order to prove retaliatory discharge. Learn about the criteria you will have to meet in order to prove retaliatory discharge by staying tuned for our next blog!