Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Missouri law provides safeguards and protections to prevent employers from firing an employee merely because they have filed a workers’ compensation claim. Under Section 287.780, RSMo, “[n]o employer or agent shall discharge or discriminate against any employee for exercising any of his or her rights under this chapter when the exercising of such rights is the motivating factor in the discharge or discrimination.”

Protection under this law is not limited to the actual filing of a claim for compensation. Engaging in activities such as filing a report of injury and receiving medical treatment would also trigger protections under this law making it illegal to discharge an employee for doing so.

Sometimes these claims are accompanied by disability discrimination claims under the Missouri Human Rights Act or federal Equal Opportunity laws. Additionally, Missouri legislature recently changed the law requiring employees alleging retaliation to prove that the adverse employment action, or discharge, was the motivating factor rather than a contributor factor. We have previously blogged about the recent changes to the Missouri Human Rights Act which have also moved to the motivating factor standard.

If your employer has retaliated against you for exercising your rights under Missouri workers’ compensation laws, you could be entitled to damages including lost wages and benefits. Contact our office today to help!