Illinois law provides workers with benefits while they recover from a work injury, including coverage of medical bills and payment of a portion of any lost wages. Many injured workers also get a lump sum or settlement for the permanent nature of their injury.

In order to get benefits, you typically file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. If your boss doesn’t like it, that doesn’t matter. Illinois law also protects employees from retaliation by an employer. You can’t be fired, demoted or otherwise discriminated against for filing a claim.

This is an important way that Illinois law encourages injured workers to get the help they need. The courts found it necessary that employees be able to file a claim for benefits without fear of their employer holding it against them. The point of workers’ compensation is to support injured employees and help get them back into the workforce.

If your employer fires you for filing a claim, you can go after them for two types of damages. You can get compensatory damages for financial loss, usually lost pay. And you can also seek punitive damages, essentially making them pay extra for breaking the law.

Just to be clear, you can be fired while out on workers’ compensation. It just can’t be because you filed a claim. If you have a case against your employer for breaking this law, it’s important to be able to prove why you were fired. An experienced and proactive attorney can help you determine whether you have enough evidence and help you gather evidence to prove your case.

We are workers’ compensation attorneys who help people with Illinois work injuries anywhere in IL via our statewide network of attorneys. Contact us and we will answer your questions or find the right lawyer for your situation.

By Michael Helfand