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Can an Employee be Fired While Out on Workers’ Comp in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Dec 24, 2018 | Workers' Comp |

All private employers in New Jersey are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees, which provides compensation and medical care should a worker become injured on the job. While you are out of work on short-term or long-term disability, you may be wondering if your job is secure, or if an employer can fire you. Workers’ compensation benefits provide income protection, not job protection, and an employer can legally fire an employee who is out on disability. There are situations, however, where an employee may have legal grounds to file a lawsuit against their employer for wrongful termination.

Workers’ compensation benefits

Workers’ compensation provides benefits to employees who have suffered a job related injury or illness. In New Jersey, if you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you may be entitled to any of the following:

  • Medical treatment: insurance coverage for medical bills that are reasonably required to cure or alleviate the effects of the injury
  • Disability payments: workers who are temporarily unable to work during the recovery period from their injury or illness may receive partial compensation for lost wages
  • Permanent disability settlement: for workers who suffer injury that causes permanent impairment or restrictions. Compensation varies depending upon the gravity of the disability
  • Vocational rehabilitation: if the worker cannot return to their previous job and the employer does not have an alternative position or modified work that the employee can perform, the worker will receive paid training in new employment

It is important to note that there is a two year statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims in New Jersey. Claims must be filed within two years of the injury date or – if the worker has suffered a work-related illness – two years from the point in time that the worker became aware of the illness and its connection to their employment.

No-fault compensation

Workers’ compensation laws were designed to protect workers. Workers’ compensation benefits operate under a “no-fault” system, and benefits are available regardless of who is to blame for the injury. If a worker is out on disability and it is demonstrated through medical evidence that the injured worker will be unable to return to their previous position, then the employer may fill that position. If business needs necessitate that your position must be filled, your employer may hire a temporary employee.

Protecting the rights of New Jersey workers

At Lomurro Law, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of New Jersey workers, advocating on their behalf and successfully securing the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve for their injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered a work-related injury or illness, let us help. Our team guides you through the workers’ compensation process, staying by your side every step of the way. Contact a member of our team today at 732-482-9285 or online.