This question seems to come up more frequently than most. Often, I hear clients expressing concern about whether or not they can be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim. And unfortunately it’s kind of a good news, bad news situation. The good news is that you cannot be fired for filing a workman’s compensation claim. The bad news is that you can be fired for just about anything else.
This is because South Carolina is a “Right to Work” State. This means that in South Carolina, an employer has the right to fire you for just about anything. Of course some things are protected. For instance, an employer is not allowed to fire you based on your age, sex, race, disability, or any other federally protected reason. However, they can fire you for leaving work five minutes early or not performing your job satisfactorily.
Your employer has the right to fire you even while you are receiving workman’s compensation benefits just so long as the cited reason is not because you filed for workers’ compensation. They can also terminate you if your injury causes you to no longer be able to perform your job. If you were terminated not long after filing workers’ compensation, or have any questions about your rights surrounding filing for workman’s compensation, feel free to contact an attorney at Oxner + Permar for a free consultation.