Can I Be Fired For Filing A Workers Compensation Claim?

Posted by Nick Norris | Nov 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

The simple answer is yes if you work in Mississippi, but you might have another claim if this happens.  47 out of 50 states protect workers who file workers compensation claims in good faith according to a state by state survey. The three states that have chosen to not protect its workers from retaliation for filing workers compensation claims is Georgia, Mississippi, and Rhode Island.  Some states have created laws that specifically provide protection for such retaliation, while courts in 14 other states have issued opinions holding protection from retaliation is implied in the workers compensation laws.  For several years at least one legislative member in the Mississippi legislature has proposed a law to provide such protection.  However, the Mississippi legislature has consistently refused to protect workers as the law has never received enough votes to get out of committee to receive a full vote in the House or Senate.  The Mississippi Supreme Court has also had an opportunity on numerous occasions over the decades to provide such protection like numerous other courts have done across the nation; however, each time it has refused to protect workers in Mississippi. Kelly v. Miss. Valley Gas Co., 397 So. 2d 874 (Miss. 1981); Buchanan v. Ameristar Casino Vicksburg, Inc., 852 So. 2d 25 (Miss. 2003).  The only way workers in Mississippi can get clear protection from retaliation for filing a workers compensation claim in good faith is to encourage your legislative members to support such protection.

The only option left to workers currently being retaliated against for filing a workers comp claim is to pursue a tortious interference with employment claim.  However, the options are limited on a such a claim.  A tortious interference with employment claim cannot be filed against the employer or the owner of the employer.  It is usually filed against the individual supervisor that caused the termination, but you have to show that the supervisor was acting in bad faith when the employee was terminated.  If the employer claims it decided   An example of bad faith would be if an employee files a workers compensation claim, and then the next week the employee's supervisor has the employee terminated by falsely claiming the employee was late to work.

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Nick Norris

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