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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19674
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Does an employer have the right to terminate an employee when

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Does an employer have the right to terminate an employee when the EE files suit against the company? Otherwise a hostile environment would exist. elk

Thank you for the information and your question. I assume that you meant to say that the employer opted out of the State's workers' compensation coverage, since an employer may not opt out of unemployment coverage, and the issue you are asking about is a workplace injury. So, with that assumption in mind, to answer your main question, if an employer terminates an employee for filing suit, whether under WC laws, or the parallel private coverage the employer has for workplace injuries, then they are violating public policy. In other words, terminating an employee for exercising their legal rights, is against the law. There is no legal issue of hostile environment, since that is a term that has nothing to do with workplace injuries or the employee's right to file suit.

That said, I completely understand, that as the employer, it is frustrating to have an employee work for you who has filed suit against you, for whatever reason, but this termination has exposed your company to a wrongful termination suit based on the reason I discussed above and also a disability discrimination claim. I can't advise you what to do since I am not your attorney, but I highly recommend that you sit down with a local employment law attorney and come up with a plan of how you will handle this issue. That might include you calling this employee back and reinstating them, or simply standing by to be possibly served with a law suit or discrimination complaint from the State or the EEOC.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your reply and advice. elk

You're welcome and best of luck to you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you

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