When you are hurt on the job, you may have to take time off work. Medical bills and now no income? You may need to file a worker’s compensation claim to get by, but sometimes that’s easier said than done.

Your boss can’t fire you because of a worker’s compensation claim

Unfortunately, all too many people who need to file a claim don’t because they are worried about losing their jobs for it. The good news is that retaliation against an employee for filing a claim or complaint against an employer is illegal in Indiana.

You are protected against wrongful termination, which includes losing your job because you file a worker’s compensation claim. If your employer fires you because of your claim or otherwise punishes you for filing, you will be able to sue your employer.

Your employment can still change while you are on leave

Indiana is an “employment-at-will” state, meaning that both the employee and employer are willingly entering a working relationship and either party can end it as they wish. This means hiring, firing, changing positions, layoffs, suspensions and hour changes are largely at the discretion of the employer. Your employment can change at any time, including when you are on worker’s compensation.

However, this does not necessarily mean that your employer can fire you for any reason. Employment changes cannot be due to any type of discrimination or retaliation. While you are on medical or worker’s compensation leave, your employment can change, but not solely because of your claim.

If you are worried about filing a claim because of potential retaliation from your employer, know that getting the compensation you need is within your rights as an employee. If you have already experienced retaliation or believe your employer may fire you if you file a claim, talk to an attorney at once.