Yes. This means that employers can terminate you at any time for any reason, but there are exceptions. For example, employers are not allowed to retaliate against you if you filed for workers’ compensation insurance benefits.2
What do I have to prove in wrongful termination lawsuits?
In a wrongful termination claim based on workers’ compensation, you would have to prove that the employer fired you because you filed for workers comp. The employer would then defend itself by claiming there were other, legitimate excuses for firing you. Examples are that you:
were often late,
were unmotivated, or
kept making mistakes
Typical evidence in these cases includes:
communications showing the employer’s intent, such as emails, voicemails, and memos;
eyewitness testimony that heard the employers talk about you;
testimony by you about how the employer’s behavior changed once you filed for workers comp
You need to prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence in order to win at trial.3 Though the majority of cases resolve through a settlement.
If you are fired for filing workers comp, you can sue for wrongful termination.
Can employers fire me if I refuse to do light duty work?
Yes, if you are physically capable of doing light duty work despite your injury.
As part of the workers’ comp process, a doctor will determine whether you are capable of doing “light duty work.” But if you refuse to do this work, then the employer has legal grounds to terminate you.
Certainly, light duty jobs may feel like a demotion. But as long as it is temporary, employers are allowed to assign you light duty jobs that are “beneath you.” But if you are permanently injured, the light duty work cannot be demeaning to you.5
What damages can I get for a wrongful termination case?
If you win a wrongful termination lawsuit after being fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may be able to recover the following damages:
The judge may also order that the employer pay for your attorneys’ fees and court costs.
What should I do after getting injured at work?
notify your boss and request a C-1 form (Notice of Injury or Occupational Disease), and
request from the doctor a C-4 form (Employee’s Claim for Compensation/Report of Initial Treatment).
Note that you usually have to see a medical provider authorized by the employer’s insurer.
You have 90 days after the injury to file for workers’ compensation. The insurance company should accept or reject the claim within 30 days of receiving the C-4 form. Depending on the case, you may receive several disability benefits, including:
Call our employment law firm for legal advice. Our labor and workers’ compensation lawyers offer free consultations on employment actions. And we appear in state and federal law courts in Las Vegas, NV and throughout the state.
Hansen v. Harrah’s, (1984) 100 Nev. 60, 675 P.2d 394. See NRS 616C.280. Other examples of other grounds for wrongful termination retaliation claims include that the employee was a whistleblower, attended jury duty, or engaged in other protected activity. Another ground of wrongful termination is employment discrimination, such as firing someone based on race or sex.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.