I have a small trucking company with 10 employees. I have a driver that hurt her shoulder and is out with her injury. She is filing a lawsuit against the workers comp insurance company and my company. What are my legal options? Can I fire her now that she is filing a lawsuit against me? Should I consult my own attorney or will workers comp insurance handle the legal aspect?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Your carrier will provide her with a defense but you CANNOT fire her for filing a claim. That would open the door to a whole other lawsuit for which you may not have insurance coverage for.
You say she is filing suit against you and the carrier? Is it a worker's compensation claim or a circuit court claim. It matters as to what is being alleged. Are benefits being provided by your insurance company to her for her injuries and any lost wages. Is she still working for you? Is she off of work due to her injuries? Do you have company policy about time off? You should consult a local attorney about your options in terms of termination as there are significant limits on that option. She can be terminted for non performance or for any non discriminatory reason but as Ms. Wender points out you cannot fire her for simply pursuing her w/c rights. Seek guidance from the insurance company attorney AND from independent counsel.