Q. I have a fairly good 48-year-old employee who has a chronic problem with Workers’ Comp claims. This individual is constantly getting injured and missing a lot of work because of these injuries. I am afraid he is building up to a permanent disability claim. Can I legally terminate him?

A. Dismissing an employee for filing Workers’ Comp claims is a violation of public policy.

Courts have established and upheld state statutes protecting employees from being dismissed from their jobs for filing Workers’ Comp claims. In addition, your employee may very well be protected from discrimination by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar state laws.

There are several actions you can take which may at least minimize future risks for you and the employee:

Study the past injuries this employee has had. Do you see any patterns? For example: Have at least some of the injuries occurred by stumbling or falling? This may indicate a health-related “balance” problem.

Compare the time of day and even the day of the week when these injuries have happened. If the time of day shows a pattern, it’s possible the effects of medication could be a reason. If accidents happen on the same day of the week, perhaps they are related to activities of the night before.

Visit with the employee and ask if he or she knows of any reason why there are repeated injuries.

Depending on the employee’s job, do as much as possible to limit this employee’s exposure to high-risk job duties and work areas.

Consult with your attorney. Have your attorney review the facts involving the individual and the injuries. Your attorney may conclude the employee is filing fraudulent claims and may recommend actions you can take as a result.

Caution: If at any time or for any reason this employee is terminated or laid off, keep in mind that regardless or your intent, he or she is well-protected from wrongful discharge in at least three areas: Workers’ Compensation, age discrimination and disability discrimination

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Since 2010, my company has grown to over five hundred employees. With our tremendous growth we needed a human resources and payroll company that could grow with us. That company is HR&P. And as laws have changed, like the Affordable Care Act, HR&P has kept us in compliance. I focus on growing Twin Eagle. I trust HR&P with the rest.

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We are the industry leader in Oil Spill Cleanup Products and have dealt with numerous Oil Spill disasters. Knowing up close what a disaster looks like we choose to avoid them in our offices. HR&P guides us through the land mines of HR, Payroll and Benefit compliance so my team can focus solely on helping our clients with their problems, and we avoid our own.

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One of the best things we did for our business was to partner with HR&P. They’re the experts in human resources, payroll and benefits administration.
HR&P’s web based solutions make it easy for us to manage our employee’s needs. They also help us stay compliant with the Affordable Care Act and with “the alphabet soup” of constantly changing Governmental regulations.

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I run a restaurant, from early in the morning to late at night, our team works hard to deliver great food in a fun atmosphere.
But there’s a lot more to running a business like human resources, payroll, benefits and compliance. So we turn to HR&P.
Outsourcing to HR&P keeps us focused on our business.

Marcus Payavla, Co-Owner, Orleans Seafood Kitchen

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