Georgia is an employment at will state which means that your employer can let you go for almost any reason. And Georgia law does not recognize a cause of action for termination due to your bringing a comp claim. You can consult with an employment law attorney for more information.
I would speak with your workers' compensation attorney regarding this issue. She will be able to direct you as to how to proceed. In the alternative, I would contact the local OSHA office as they are usually very helpful with regards to filing a charge. I do not believe this is an EEOC issue as there does not appear to be any discriminatory issue.
From what you have described, it does not appear to have the required "discrimination" for an EEOC claim. Claims for retaliation under EEOC are for questionable actions against an employee who has filed a claim for discrimination or participated in a discrimination claim. You should consult an employment law attorney to be certain that this is correct.
Unfortunately, in Georgia, there is no law against retaliatory discharge. That means that you have no protection from being fired after you have filed a WC suit.
Although your WC attorney is correct that your employer will want you to waive your rights to bring any other case against them when you settle your WC case, your WC attorney should insist that you will not settle your WC case if you have to give up your rights to pursue your EEOC case. Your WC attorney should protect you so that you can proceed with your EEOC claim, if one exists.
I would discuss the EEOC claim with a lawyer who specializes in those types of cases as I am not in a position to say if your situation qualifies.
Good luck and I am sorry about your burns. I know they can be very painful. Good luck.
I agree that this does not sound like an EEOC issue unless you feel the firing was due to race, sex, age, etc. and it did not sound like one of those was the reason. I have seen some worker's comp cases where a firing may have violated the Americans with Disabilities act, but that does not sound like your situation either. Unemployment is an option when you are terminated for no good cause, but you would want to discuss that with your Worker's Comp attorney to make sure there would be no complications with doing so. Also, re-post your question here on AVVO under employment law and give some more details.
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I would definitely recommend consulting an attorney. You can handle a matter yourself but the biggest issue in cases like that is to avoid doing something in one case to screw up the other case inadvertently.
Whenever you have a case based upon injury and disability, versus a case that is based on lost wages due to termination and/or discrimination, then they are by nature going to be parasitic on each other.
You can file an EEOC claim by yourself but be sure to read and follow all rules and meet all deadlines. You may contact me through my website if you need help after the EEOC probably turns you down
Robert G. Rothstein
Attorney at Law
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