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Understanding unreasonable refusal to rehire

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2019 | Employment Law |

Despite an employer’s best efforts to provide employees with a safe working environment, many workplace injuries occur every year around Wisconsin. In 2019, the state announced it would cut back funds for workers’ compensation. This is partially due to the decreased total number of claims in recent years.

Employees have a right to workers’ comp if they become injured from workplace activities. However, many business owners try to get out of paying for these claims by terminating a worker’s employment shortly after an injury. An individual may have to leave to recover from an injury and upon returning, the boss says the worker has lost their job due to an unrelated incident. This violates Wisconsin’s unreasonable refusal to rehire laws. All workers must be aware of their rights.

What must the employee prove?

When presenting a case to the court, an employee must prove that several items were present:

  • The worker was employed by the company
  • The worker suffered a work-related injury
  • The employer fired or refused to rehire the worker after returning from recovery
  • The termination or refusal to rehire was a direct result of the injury

The employer has a chance to rebuke these claims. It would be the employer’s responsibility to prove to the court that the termination occurred due to something else that constitutes a lawful firing.

What are the limitations of the law?

The law seeks to protect employees who suffer injuries at work. Allowing employers to fire injured workers would allow them to get out of paying workers’ comp when there is a chance the injury occurred due to the employer’s negligence. However, the law has some limitations. If an employee did something else recently to justify employment termination, then it may not matter if the firing occurred closely after an injury.