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Can You Fire an Employee on Workers’ Comp in South Carolina?


Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance provided by employers to employees who suffer injuries or illnesses in the workplace. This benefit is crucial in making sure that employees receive the necessary medical attention and financial support while they’re out of work. However, many workers are not aware of their rights under workers’ compensation, particularly when it comes to their employment status.

If you’re currently receiving workers’ comp benefits in South Carolina, you may be wondering whether your employer can terminate your employment. In this blog post, we’ll answer that question.

Is It Legal to Terminate Employees While They’re Collecting Workers’ Compensation Benefits in South Carolina?

The answer to the question “can you fire an employee on workers’ comp in South Carolina?” is not straightforward. It depends on the circumstances surrounding the termination of employment. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Employment Contract – If you have an employment contract, check if there are specific provisions regarding termination of employment during workers’ comp. Some contracts may provide additional protections for injured workers, such as requiring the employer to offer light-duty work or accommodations.
  • Discrimination – You cannot be fired because you filed a workers’ compensation claim or because of your injury or illness. This is considered retaliation and is illegal under South Carolina law. If you believe you were terminated because of workers’ comp or any disability-related reason, you may have a valid discrimination claim against your employer.
  • At-Will Employment – In South Carolina, most employees are considered “at-will,” which means that either party (employer or employee) can terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause. However, South Carolina law prohibits employers from terminating employees for reasons that violate public policy, such as discrimination or retaliation.
  • FMLA and ADA – If you’re also eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), then your rights under those laws may protect you from being terminated while on workers’ comp. These laws provide additional job protection and can give you more time off to recover from your injury or illness.
  • Light-Duty Work – If your employer has light-duty work available that fits within your work restrictions, they may require you to perform this work as part of your workers’ compensation benefits. If you refuse to work, your employer may have grounds to terminate your employment.

Bottom line, being on workers’ comp does not automatically protect you from being fired. However, you do have rights under South Carolina law that may provide you with additional protection. If you believe your employer terminated your employment because of your workers’ comp claim or injury, it’s important to speak with an experienced workers’ comp attorney who can help you evaluate your legal options.

Need Help with a Workers’ Comp Issue? Contact Our Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for a Free Consultation Today!

At Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC, our clients and their best interests are always our top priorities. Armed with years of experience and unparalleled expertise, we are equipped to tackle even the most complex cases and develop winning strategies on behalf of our clients. No matter what type of workplace accident you’ve been involved in, we are ready to take your case. We understand the intricacies of workplace accidents and are committed to securing the maximum compensation you rightfully deserve.

Give our workers’ comp attorneys a call at (843) 968-0886 or get in touch with us online today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced legal team in Charleston.

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