It is usually against the law for an employer to terminate an employee solely because the employee has filed a workers’ compensation claim. Most states grant legal protection to employees who have filed workers’ compensation claims, except for Georgia, Mississippi and Rhode Island.
In Mississippi, an employer can terminate an employee:
- If the employee cannot perform the job’s essential duties as before the injury, regardless of whether the inability to perform is due to the injury the employee sustained at work.
- For reasons unrelated to the workers’ compensation claim. This can certainly raise suspicion due to the timing of the events. However, if the employers can prove it has nothing to do with the workers’ compensation claim, the employer may have valid grounds for termination.
Under Mississippi Workers’ Compensation laws, if an employee is fired after sustaining an injury at work, the law presumes that the termination was due to their injury. While the employer can rebut this presumption, it is a burden that the employer must overcome in court.
Mississippi employees have other options, such as filing a tortious interference with employment claim against the individual who caused the termination, such as the supervisor. In that case, the employee must show that the supervisor acted in bad faith when they terminated the employee.
Unfortunately, while most states have legal protections for employees who file workers’ compensation claims, Mississippi does not. However, there are other legal avenues an employee can explore with proper knowledge and advocacy.