Can Your Employer Fire You If You Get Hurt at Work? | 1.26.2021

South Carolina is an at-will employment state. This means that your employer may fire you for any reason or no reason at all with or without notice as long as the reason does not violate any established law. For instance, in SC, it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee simply because they filed a workers’ compensation claim.

Many injured or ill employees fear filing a workers’ compensation claim because they assume that their employer will use it against them. The SC workers’ compensation system exists to help and protect injured workers. In fact, the law even allows an employee to take legal action (separate from the workers’ compensation claim) against an employer that retaliates against them for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

How Does South Carolina Law Protect Workers After Filing a Claim?

It is unlawful for your employer to fire you simply for:

  • Filing a workers’ compensation claim seeking benefits for a work-related injury or illness.
  • Being unable to work due to an injury or illness.

If you are under work restrictions during your recovery and it’s possible for you to return to work, then your employer may make accommodations for you. This may include changing your work schedule, conditions, and duties. If your employer can’t accommodate you or you can’t perform the full duties due to your illness or injury, then you may be entitled to temporary compensation during your recovery. This temporary compensation is generally in the form of weekly payments that are 66 and 2/3% of the pre-tax income you earned up to a year prior to your work injury.

Can Your Employer Fire You for a Different Reason After Filing a Claim?

If your employer tries to fire you after you file a workers’ compensation claim and provides a different reason for your termination such as tardiness or poor performance, you should talk to a workers’ compensation attorney.

Any retaliation or wrongful termination during your workers’ compensation claim may be actionable under South Carolina law. Our award-winning attorneys can help. Give us a call at (803) 888-2200 and tell us what’s going on. Schedule your free consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney in South Carolina today and we will walk you through your options.

Why Should You Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

Hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you get the maximum benefits available to you under South Carolina law. It’s not impossible to handle the workers’ compensation claims process on your own. However, we recommend speaking with a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss what you can expect and what you’re entitled to. Let our experienced attorneys help you. Schedule a free consultation or call our office at (803) 888-2200.

Award-Winning Lawyers in Columbia, SC:

Our team of experienced, award-winning attorneys in Columbia, SC are available 24/7 to help you with your workers’ compensation claim. Since our firm was founded, our core mission has been to provide excellent legal counsel and representation to individuals in need of legal services across SC. We believe our clients deserve knowledgeable, aggressive advocates to represent them. Our team will fight against insurance companies and large corporations so you can focus on healing. We view each case as an opportunity to positively impact our community.

Give us a call whenever you’re ready at (803) 888-2200 or schedule your free consultation online. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing what we can do to help!

Disclaimer: The opinions and ideas in this article are for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice. Each case is different and must be evaluated based on its own particular facts and merits. This article in no way creates an attorney-client relationship with the reader.

Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC

If you have any other questions or need an out-of-state referral, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on important news.

Did you learn something from this post? You may also like: “When to Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer – 5 Signs or “Can I Sue My Employer If I Get Hurt at Work?”

About the Author:

Nicholas J. Skorzewski focuses on advocating for his clients after they have been injured on the job. Nick is a 2020 and 2021 Legal Elite of the Midlands award recipient. He was also listed in U.S. News Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for Workers’ Compensation Law in Columbia, SC in 2022. He has handled numerous workers’ compensation matters from the initial notice of injury up until settlement or trial. He applies his experience gained from representing insurance companies in workers’ comp matters to help injured workers who are being treated unfairly by insurance carriers or employers and need help evaluating their options after an on-the-job injury.


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