Workers' compensation is insurance that is taken out for employees that are injured in their employment. Workers' compensation covers medical expenses, rehabilitation, and disability payments. The disability payments can be about two-thirds of your regular salary. Usually, an employee who accepts workers' compensation gives up his or her right to take legal action against their employer. If you are injured and unable to work, you should not be fired for filing for workers' compensation. It is illegal for an employer to do so. If your employer does that, then you need to seek out the services of a workers' compensation attorney. However, do note that in order to be eligible for workers' compensation, you must be an employee.
Say, for instance, your work-related injury leads to disability, temporary or otherwise. If your employer fires you on those grounds, that will be considered discrimination. If medical evidence suggests that you will be unable to return to your occupation, then s/he may dismiss you. Your employer at this moment is not dismissing you for applying for workers' compensation but because you are unable to return to your usual occupation. If it is unclear, then you can still seek the advice of a workers' compensation attorney for further clarification.
In such an instance where you are unable to work but your employer cannot afford to have your position vacant, s/he may need to fill the position. The burden is high but instead of having your post permanently filled, your employer can hire a temporary worker. Again, this is not considered dismissal unless indicated, but your job should be available to you when you return. Generally, workers' comp is temporary and the benefits are derived from three to seven years depending on the state you live in. If the disability is involved and permanent, there is no limit on the time to accept these benefits.
Having a File
If an employer intends to fire you, it is likely that that s/he will find a legal reason to do so just because your compensation file is open. Some states have actually made it illegal for an employer to fire an employee in retaliation for filing a claim especially when they are injured at work. Though, an employer may never admit this outright. If you suffer a work-related injury and are subsequently laid off because of "budget cuts" then again, seek the counsel of workers' compensation lawyers as your employer may be discriminating against you.