Under Florida's Workers' Compensation Statute, an employer is forbidden from firing, threatening to fire, intimidating, or coercing any injured worker solely for claiming workers' compensation benefits or attempting to claim those benefits. This provision is significant for Florida workers, as Florida is an at-will employment state, which means employees can be fired for any reason under the sun (except for the limited cases of discrimination based on federally protected classes such as race, gender, etc.).Having this provision in the workers' compensation law is extremely important for injured workers who may be afraid of losing their job simply for filing a workers' compensation claim. However, it is important to know the policies adhered to in your place of work. Florida courts have held that if an injured worker is terminated based on violating the established policy of their employer, such as a policy providing for termination after a 3 month period of an inability to return to work, then that termination does not violate the retaliation provision in the workers' compensation statute.
The basis for claims of retaliation do not have to rise to the level of discipline or termination but rather can stem from things such as the employer failing or refusing to abide by the work restrictions ordered by the injured workers authorized physician.
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