After injuring yourself on the job, you may worry that your employer views you as expendable. You may have second thoughts about filing a workers’ compensation claim, especially if you fear your employer may try to terminate you. Yet, working through your injury is neither a sustainable nor a feasible option, and you likely feel that you have no clear path forward. In most cases, though, Iowa law will protect your job after a workplace accident.
Understanding your protections
While Iowa is an at-will employment state, certain exceptions to this doctrine apply. Among these include termination related to workplace injuries. Under state law, your employer cannot terminate you if you file for and claim workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer also cannot try to force you to quit your job for taking these actions. Even if it does not terminate you, your employer’s behaviors could qualify as retaliation.
Fighting termination and retaliation
If your employer terminates you for filing for and claiming workers’ compensation benefits, you can bring a wrongful discharge lawsuit against it. In Iowa, the statute of limitations for taking this action is five years after your date of discharge. In the event your employer tries to push you out of your job but does not actually terminate you, you can file a retaliation claim against it through the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Keep in mind that your window for making you claims is 180 days from when your employer took retaliatory action against you.
No worker deserves to experience retaliation for sustaining injuries on the job. If you have, a legal professional can help you fight any wrongful actions taken against you.