Burdine & Brown
Can the Employer Terminate Me at Any Time After My Job Injury?
This is Georgia. After a job injury, legitimately and disabling, your employer may fire you at will. I have said, you can be fired “…for a right reason, a wrong reason or no reason at all.” Some exceptions apply but not many exist.
Does your termination STOP your weekly workers' compensation benefits? No! Does termination stop your medical care for your injuries? No!
Termination will stop your group insurance, your STD and LTD premium payouts, your vision and dental and 401K contributions. You would then become completely responsible for the premium payments to continue these coverages. It seems that many employers have forgotten the motto of our armed services: “Leave no soldier behind.” Business and industry does not help their wounded, their disabled.
Prior to 1992, a long time ago, the insurance company was required to provide vocational rehabilitation benefits if the injured worker could not return to his/her old job or even a new job at the same employer. This was a genuine benefit for everyone since the worker would be offered an opportunity to successfully re-join the job market after training in another field.
Vocational Rehabilitation “filled the gap” left when the employer did not or could not re-employ their workers after a job injury.
That benefits is gone. Now I find that many workers cannot find alternative employment after a serious job injury. What does one do? Apply for Social Security Disability benefits. The problem here is that for legitimate reasons (youth/ the applicant is not totally disabled, not enough working quarters), the worker could be left ineligible for Social Security Disability Benefits which means many times without income of any kind.
Do not let your claim for benefits get to this point. Contact an attorney long before this point. There may be some hope along the way. You cannot expect a miracle if you have waited until the 11th hour to seek legal representation.