At-Will Employment

Despite protections for recipients of workers’ comp benefits, South Carolina is still an at-will employment state. This means your employer may fire you at any time for any reason or for no reason as long as your termination is not retaliatory. Your company might legally discharge you while you’re out due to your injury or illness if it can show that:

  • You’ve violated a company policy.
  • You’ve been under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the workplace.
  • You’ve behaved in a disorderly or disruptive manner on the job.
  • You’ve regularly missed or been late for work.

There are also a few other circumstances under which your employer may be able to legally fire you while you’re off work after your injury:

  • The job duties of your position are essential to the company’s business. In this case, the employer might have to replace you. If there’s no other suitable job for you when you’re ready to return to work, you could be terminated.
  • Even after reaching MMI, you’re not able to do your previous job, and there’s no suitable light-duty position available. 
  • The expense of modifying your workspace to accommodate your medical restrictions would be unreasonably high for the company.
  • Even with accommodations, your job performance no longer meets the standards of the employer.

Obtaining a Settlement From A Work Related Injury

If the evidence shows that your employer has fired you unfairly, you might not want to return to your former company. In that case, your attorney can help you close your workers’ comp claim and receive a lump-sum payment instead of weekly benefit checks from your employer’s insurance company. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, allows three different paths to settlement:

  • A clincher agreement ending all benefits
  • An indemnity-only clincher allowing continued medical treatment
  • A Form 16A agreement under which you continue to receive doctor-recommended treatment and have one year to file a change-of-condition claim for further benefits
If you leave your current employment before your workers’ comp benefits are exhausted, an attorney can make sure you continue to receive the benefits you are entitled to under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. 

Have You Been Injured On The Job?

If you've been hurt at your job you can speak with a workers' compensation lawyer. Please contact us online or call our Charleston, South Carolina office directly at 843.488.2359 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our ConwayMyrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. PleasantNorth Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

Dirk J. Derrick
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South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.