This is a complicated question. It depends. Missouri is an “at will” employment state, which means, generally, employers can fire an employee at any time for any reason, or no reason.
Missouri Workers’ Compensation law does not require the employer to hold your job while you recover from your injury. However, there are protections for injured workers:
The law prohibits employers from firing or otherwise retaliating against an employee for filing a workers' compensation claim. Employers often try to discourage employees from making workers compensation claims, especially employers are self-insured, meaning they pay the workers' compensation benefits out of their own pockets rather than having insurance. If this happens, you may have a retaliation claim against your employer.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
This federal law requires employers to hold your job for you if you are unable to work for a period of time due to a medical condition. The leave is without pay. The law requires a certification of your condition by a medical doctor and is limited to 52 weeks.
These laws are complicated and if you believe you have not been treated fairly, you should contact an attorney experienced in this area of the law.
You are owed your work comp benefits even if fired.
Employers cannot avoid their workers’ compensation obligation by firing employees. If you are fired, you are still entitled to all of you work comp benefits: medical care, TTD, and permanent impairment. Beware, however, that if you are fired for some misconduct, employers do not have to pay TTD benefits; however, they do still have to pay medical and permanent injury benefits.
Employers sometimes make up a reason to fire you “for cause” or misconduct to avoid their TTD obligation. If this happens, you should talk to an experienced work comp attorney because you may have a retaliation lawsuit.
We help people who have been injured in work accidents. We offer a free consultation so that you may discuss your concerns with an experienced attorney. Contact us online or call our St. Louis office at 314-862-6865 to schedule your free initial consultation. When you meet with us, ask about:
- Evening and weekend appointments
- Home and hospital visits
- No attorneys fees unless you collect