What Happens if My Company Terminates Me While I am Out on Workers' Comp in South Carolina?

You Cannot Be Fired for Filing a Workers' Comp Claim in SC

Many people fear they will get fired if they pursue a workers’ compensation case in South Carolina. Other people are concerned their boss will simply "let them go" if they can’t work because of the injury. In either situation, South Carolina law protects your rights. You cannot be legally terminated as punishment for seeking workers’ compensation benefits. If an employer wrongfully terminated someone on this basis, they would be liable not only for the workers’ compensation claim, but also for a civil lawsuit. Even though South Carolina is a “right to work” state, you cannot be punished for lawfully seeking workers’ compensation benefits

Collecting Workers Compensation Checks After Being Let Go

Workers comp checks after being firedSouth Carolina law also states that your employer must either accommodate your physical restrictions or provide you a weekly check should the work injury prevent you from performing full duty. If a doctor puts physical restrictions on you (i.e. places you on light duty), your boss can either comply with the restrictions or have their insurance company send you a weekly check.

In the event your company "let’s you go" because you are physically unable to perform your job while out on workers’ comp, they will have to provide you with weekly checks until a doctor releases you from his/her care. In these instances, you would begin receiving a weekly workers’ compensation check, or temporary total disability (TTD) payments, equal to 2/3s of your pre-tax earnings. For instance, if you grossed $750 weekly before you got hurt, you would receive a $500 check every week from the time you were fired until a doctor placed you at what is known as “maximum medical improvement.”

Your Benefits Continue Even If Your Boss Fires You

In sum, please know that your workers' compensation benefits continue even if your boss fires you during the pendency of your claim. With that said, I strongly encourage you to be a model employee. You do not want to give your employer any excuse to let you go, or any evidence of insubordination. Should you have other questions about your rights under South Carolina's workers’ compensation system, call me at (803) 790-2800 or start a live chat using the chat box below. 

Kenneth Berger
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Columbia, South Carolina car accident and personal injury attorney dedicated to securing justice for clients