Fired for hurting my back?

by Corbett
(Bismarck, ND)

I went to lift a 25 pound motor from under a shelf at work. Since it was under a shelf, it could not be lifted without proper technique. When I went to lift it I felt a pinch in my back. I filed an injury report and they sent me home.

This was on a Wednesday. I called in on Thursday and Friday because I could not move. I went to the hospital and they said not to lift anything. When I went back to work on Monday they fired me. Is this legal? Are they allowed to fire an employee who is injured at work? Is there anything I can do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Fired for hurting my back?":

Corbett (Bismarck, ND):

Unless you are employed pursuant to a written employment contract, or your company has in place an appellate process, your employment can be legally terminated.

However, because you were injured on the job while performing your work duties, you are fully entitled to workers' compensation coverage. Workers comp will cover your medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and approximately 2/3rds of your lost wages. Workers' comp generally does not provide compensation for pain and suffering.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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