Written by attorney Brian Robert Barjenbruch

I was just fired or demoted for filing a worker’s compensation claim

Recovering from an on the job injury is a trying time. On occasion, an employee will find that his or her employer is unaccommodating to the time an employee needs to heal and return to work. On other occasions, an employee finds out his or her employer does not have worker’s compensation insurance. Some employees even find themselves unemployed after seeking the benefits of worker’s compensation.

Terminating an employee for filing a worker’s compensation claim is a violation of Missouri law, as well as the laws of several other states. Section 287.780 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri forbids an employer from discharging or in any way discriminating against any employee for exercising any of his or her rights under Missouri’s worker’s compensation law. The statute goes on to state that any employee who has been discharged or discriminated against shall have a civil action for damages against his or her employer.

Kansas law also protects workers who are subject to termination or discrimination for filing a worker's compensation claim. Almost every state recognizes that employees have the right to seek recovery from their employers if they are injured, and that interfering with that right needs to be dealt with in court.

Discrimination stemming from a worker's compensation claim can take many forms. Employees may find out that they have been transferred to jobs involving more physical labor or unpleasant working conditions. An employer may tell an employee that he or she has been transferred from full time to part time employment, or that he or she has lost seniority or other benefits. An employee should ask him or herself whether he or she is worse off after filing a claim or suffering an on-the-job injury.

If you have been terminated, demoted or discriminated against for filing a worker’s compensation claim, you should immediately seek the advice of an attorney.

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