Can a Maryland workers compensation claim damage my employment relationship?
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One of the most common question I am asked, and for good reason, is in regards to job security and the filing of a Workers’ Compensation claim. For many, being able to provide for their family is the number one concern even if their health is at stake. This concern is legitimate and injured Maryland workers should be advised of all potential outcomes so they can make a truly educated decision which considers both their health and their familial needs.
Unfortunately for the Maryland injured worker there is not a whole lot of job protection provided by law in these circumstances. It is best to consult a Maryland workers compensation attorney or labor and employment attorney for a consultation. Maryland is an at will employment state meaning that an employer can terminate an employee for almost any reason and the employee can terminate the employment relationship for almost any reason. For legal advice on terminations related to workers compensation cases it is important to contact a Labor and Employment Attorney. The Labor and Employment Article does provide that the Maryland injured worker can not be terminated for filing a workers compensation claim. However, employers are very well aware of this protection so if they are considering termination they will, in a great majority of the cases, find some other reason to terminate the employee. The employer is obligated under Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to keep the job position open for 12 weeks in certain circumstances.
For many it is not an easy decision to file a claim with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission and they must closely consider the effect this will have on their family. When weighing the pros and cons there are certain considerations to keep in mind. The benefits provided under Maryland Workers Compensation are numerous and can mean a lot to those who are seriously injured. See benefits page. What must be considered if you are hurt on the job is how the injury could affect your ability to perform and how long you will be able to continue to perform to your employers standards. If the injury develops into something that prevents you from working then Workers comp benefits may be the only resource available.
Many times the Maryland worker chooses not to file a claim and only years down the road realizes that the injury has materialized into a life altering condition. There may be the necessity for an emergency surgery for which health insurance refuses to pay. While job security is important to many, if the injured employee is being held out of work by a physician then finances may quickly become limited. The workers compensation payments are an absolute necessity when bills are due and expenses are accumulating. After only a short period of time the injured worker is barred from filing a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission and has no legal recourse to protect themselves financially and physically.
The obvious con is that there is a chance of losing employment. In my experience I have seen a positive correlation between getting terminated and duration of employment, job performance, wages, age, relationship with supervisors, and size of the company. These factors often, but not always play a part in the employers decision.
The decision to file a workers compensation claim is a serious one that should be discussed with an experienced Baltimore Maryland workers comp attorney.
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