In the digital age, it’s not unusual to see personal grievances aired on social platforms. Recently, a TikTok video by user Brenden (@freebird876) has been drawing attention for shedding light on a contentious issue that many workers face: the intersection of workers’ compensation and job security.
In the video, Brenden reveals a letter he received from ADUSA Supply Chain, informing him of his termination due to absence. Dramatically, he then exposes his broken leg, emphasizing that he sustained the injury at work. His poignant caption paints a stark picture: “This is how they treat you if you get injured on the job. Corporations are heartless, they see you as a dollar sign or a statistic.”
Brenden’s narrative is not unique. Many workers have found themselves in the crossfire between the need for workers’ compensation and the fear of reprisal from their employers. This brings forth a critical question: Can an employer lawfully terminate an employee on workers’ compensation?
The answer, like many areas of law, is nuanced.
Firstly, it’s essential to clarify that employers generally cannot retaliate against employees for filing workers’ compensation claims. This is a right protected under various federal and state laws. However, there are instances where termination is lawful, provided it is for reasons unrelated to the injury or the workers’ compensation claim itself. This could be due to prior performance issues, habitual tardiness, or any other unrelated work-related conduct.
Another critical point of contention arises when workers are on medical leave. The general consensus, as pointed out by Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., is that employers can only terminate an employee on medical leave if the termination reason is entirely independent of the leave.
But, what about the procedural intricacies? As highlighted by some TikTok users in Brenden’s video, ongoing communication is vital. Employees must keep their employers updated, continually furnishing necessary documentation related to their medical status and treatments. In Brenden’s case, he asserts that his employer possesses all the necessary paperwork.
While the intricacies of Brenden’s situation are not fully divulged in his short TikTok video, the message is clear: workers must understand their rights, and employers must adhere to the law. At OnderLaw, we stand staunchly beside workers like Brenden. We believe in ensuring that every employee knows their rights and is empowered to stand up against unfair practices. Remember, while some may view you as a “dollar sign or a statistic,” your rights, well-being, and dignity are invaluable. If you ever find yourself in a situation like Brenden’s, know that you have legal avenues and advocates ready to champion your cause. Contact OnderLaw and our team of expert lawyers today for your free, no-obligation consultation.