In all states, it is illegal for employers to fire employees in retaliation for suffering on-the-job injuries or for filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, in most states, employers are free to fire injured workers for any other reason that is not illegal—including being absent due to the work injury. In other words, employers generally don’t have to hold injured workers’ jobs open for them while they recover or find them new work if they’re unable to return to their old jobs. To learn more about how these rules work in most states, see our article on reinstatement rights in workers’ comp.
However, a handful of states have passed workers’ comp laws that provide job protection to injured workers. For example, an employer might have a duty to reinstate an employee to his or her old job within a certain period of time. Or the employer might have to give an injured worker first preference when a new job becomes available. To learn more, select your state from the list below.