Beware firing after employee files workers’ comp claim

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in Employment Law,Firing,HR Management,Human Resources

Florida employees are protected from retaliation for filing workers’ compensation claims. Any move that may be seen as punishment or retaliation—that comes shortly after an employee files for workers’ comp—may lead to a lawsuit based almost entirely on timing alone.

Recent case:
Albion Williams complained about mold at the music store he managed. Shortly after, he developed allergies and a sinus infection and filed a workers’ comp claim.

Then he sent a subordinate home for alleged insubordination. When HR said it might send the employee back to work, Williams commented that he wasn’t sure he was going to stay. The company took that as a resignation.

Williams sued, alleging he had been fired in retaliation.

The court said the timing was suspect and said a jury should decide whether it was retaliation. (Williams v. Record Town, No. 8:08-CV-502, MD FL, 2009)

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