People often have questions about what a workers compensation settlement is and how it affects them. One way that a workers compensation can affect you is your employment status.
Many workers compensation settlements require people workers to quit their jobs as part of the settlement. Many people wonder whether insurance companies are really allowed to do this and if there is a law that prevents them from doing this.
Understanding the settlement process is important. This article discusses whether you have to quit your job when you settle a Georgia workers compensation case.
Does Georgia’s workers compensation law require me to quit my job as part of a settlement?
No. Georgia’s workers compensation laws do not require that you quit your job as part of a settlement.
This means that there is no specific Georgia rule or law that requires you to give up your job when you settle your workers compensation case. In other words, quitting your job as part of settlement is not a part of the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act or the rules published by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
Why would I have to quit my job if I settle my case?
Even though it is not required under Georgia’s laws, many injured workers do have to quit their jobs when they settle their cases. They have to quit their job as part of settlement because many employers and insurance companies will require a resignation as part of the settlement.
One of the most important things to remember about settlement is that you do not have to settle you workers compensation case. You can always choose to just keep your case open if you want. The insurance company cannot force you to settle.
Employers and insurance companies have the same choice that you do. They do not have to settle with you. They can choose to settle or they can choose to leave your case open.
Since neither you or the insurance company has to settle. that means both of you could choose to place conditions on a settlement. You could choose not to settle unless the insurance company paid you a certain amount of money or agreed to other conditions as part of settlement. In a similar manner, the insurance company can choose not to settle unless you agree to resign your job as part of the settlement.
This is what happens in many workers compensation cases. Your employer, their insurance company, or both require that you resign your job as part of a settlement.
What is a resignation?
Your employment with a company could end in a few different ways:
- The company terminates your employment for some reason that they claim is your fault. Maybe you clock in late, get in an argument with another employee, or do not perform your job satisfactorily. Most people would call this getting “fired”.
- You get terminated by the company because the company just does not have a job for you anymore. Many people call this getting “laid off”.
- You quit the company. This is known as a “resignation”.
A resignation is basically you voluntarily quitting the company. The main difference between a resignation and the other methods of employment termination is you are choosing to leave with a resignation instead of the company making you leave.
You may wonder how your resignation is voluntarily if the company is forcing you to do it as part of settlement. The reason that it is considered “voluntary” is because you always have the option of choosing not to settle your case and refusing to resign. If you “choose” to move forward with settlement instead, then the resignation is voluntarily..
What is an agreement not to reapply in the future?
Many Georgia workers compensation settlement require you to do something more than just resign from your job. Your employer may also want you to sign an agreement not to reapply. You may wonder how this affects you and how it is different than a simple resignation.
A resignation affects your current status with your employer. When you resign your job, you give up your current employment with your employer. But, resigning your job does not necessarily prevent you from going back to work with that company in the future.
Companies try to address whether you can ever work for a company in the future by having you sign an agreement not to reapply. This way, they hope that you cannot quit your job and then come back immediately after settlement and try to get your job back.
Why do insurance companies often require resignations and agreements not to reapply as part of workers compensation settlements?
Insurance companies do not necessarily give a reason for why they often require resignations and agreement not to reapply. But, insurance companies always always require resignations and agreements not to reapply as part of workers compensation settlements.
One of the likely reasons they do this is that they do not want to settle with you and take the chance of you getting reinjured after settlement.In Georgia, aggravations of preexisting conditions qualify as injuries under the workers compensation law.
If you continued working after settling your case, you could suffer an aggravation injury to the same part of your body that was injured in your original case. This is probably one of the main reasons that insurance companies require resignations and agreements not to reapply.
This is especially likely if your employer still uses the same insurance company to provide their workers compensation insurance. The insurance company will probably not want to take the chance that they could be responsible for a new “aggravation” injury after paying you a lump sum settlement.
Can I settle my case without agreeing to quit my job?
Yes, if the insurance company will agree to it. Georgia law does not require a resignation as part of settlement.
I have had people who I have represented who have not had to resign their jobs to settle their cases. Unfortunately, this does not happen very often.
It is probably less than two percent of Georgia workers compensation cases where a resignation is not required by the employer and insurance company as part of settlement. The most common situation where I have seen it happen is:
- When the workers compensation insurance company changes
- The injured worker performs a very specialized job that the employer really needs
- Where the injured worker’s job is not physically demanding.
If the insurance company does not force me to resign as part of settlement, does that mean that I will continue to have a job after settlement?
Not necessarily. Just because you do not have to resign does not mean that you are guaranteed to have a job for any specific amount of time in the future.
In Georgia, most employees are “at will” employees. That basically means that their employer can fire them for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all (as long as it is not a prohibited reason under the law).
If you are an employee “at will”, then your employer could choose to terminate your employment at any time without really having a particular reason. This means your employer could certainly choose to let you go sometime after settlement even if you were not required to sign a resignation at the time that your case settled.
This is something that is important if you are settling your case, especially if your employer has been providing a light duty job. Your employer may not have as much reason to continue providing you that light duty job after your case is settled and might let you go after settlement, even if you did not have to resign your job as part of settlement.
Can my employer terminate my employment before settlement?
Yes. I see many situations where employers fire or lay off employees who get hurt at work before they settle their case. Sometimes they claim that they are firing the injured worker “for cause”. Other times, they claim that they are laying them off because business is slow. Other times, people “point out” when the employer has a point system.
When people get fired after an injury but before settlement, they often worry that their workers compensation case is over. It is important to understand that your case does not automatically end.
In some situations, you can get wage loss checks from workers compensation after you are fired or laid off.But, there are some complicated rules that determine what happens and whether you will need to go to court to prove your entitlement to these payments.
To find out about more about what can happen when you are fired before you settle, just read this short article about being fired after a workers compensation injury.
What if I want more information about workers compensation settlements?
Settlement is one of the most complicated parts of a workers compensation case. Here are a couple of other articles I wrote that discuss Georgia workers compensation settlements:
- What is a Workers Compensation Case Settlement?
- Workers Compensation Settlement Timelines
Before you move forward with settlement, be sure you understand that it is final and you are not going to be able to back out of it later. Also, I would highly recommend having a consultation with a workers compensation attorney if you do not already have one representing you.
Can an employee be expected to resign their position as part of a workmans comp settlement in FL? ›
An employer cannot terminate an employee for filing a WC claim, nor can the resignation be a condition of the settlement. Instead, the employer can ask the employee to voluntarily resign at the time the WC claim is being negotiated.What happens if you quit your job while on workers comp in Florida? ›
The good news is that quitting a job doesn't affect your right to receive continued medical care under workers' compensation. Payments for treatment of your injury under workers' compensation should continue whether you are unemployed, move to another job, or even relocate to another state.What is the average workers comp settlement in Florida? ›
Florida settlements can range from $2,000 to $40,000. The average settlement for workers who do not use lawyers is $10,700. The average settlement for workers who do not use lawyers is $23,500.How long does it take to settle a workers comp case in Florida? ›
Average Florida Workers' Compensation Settlement Time
Most Florida workers' compensation cases settle in 1.5 years. About 20 percent of cases settle in less than six months. There are a lot of factors that can impact how long it takes for your workers' compensation case to settle.
Settlement agreements are normally used to bring an employment relationship to an end in a mutually agreed way. They are often used in situations where an employer and employee feel that their employment relationship is no longer working and a 'clean break' is the best way forward.Is a settlement agreement a resignation? ›
A settlement agreement is only valid once you've had advice from a qualified lawyer. The settlement agreement will include a date for the termination of your employment. Once it has been signed by all parties, your employment will come to an end on the agreed date without the need for a resignation or dismissal.Can an employer fire you while on workers comp in Florida? ›
Florida is an “at-will'' state when it comes to employment, meaning that an employer can terminate a worker for just about any reason. An employer cannot, however, terminate a worker because they are receiving workers' compensation benefits or filed a claim in the first place.Can you get another job while on workers comp in Florida? ›
You might be able to continue to receive workers' compensation benefits even if you make a career change and take a new job. Before accepting a different position, ask the new company for a detailed job description, and discuss the requirements with your doctor.What is it called when you are forced to quit your job? ›
A resignation under these circumstances is called a "constructive discharge" or "constructive termination." If you were constructively discharged from your employment, the law will typically treat you as if you were fired.What percentage does a workers comp attorney get in Florida? ›
Any attorney's fee approved by a judge of compensation claims for benefits secured on behalf of a claimant must equal to 20 percent of the first $5,000 of the amount of the benefits secured, 15 percent of the next $5,000 of the amount of the benefits secured, 10 percent of the remaining amount of the benefits secured ...
How long do most workers comp settlements take? ›
How Long Does It Take to Reach a Settlement for Workers' Comp? The entire settlement process—from filing your claim to having the money in your hands—can take around 12-18 months depending on the details of your case and whether or not you have legal representation.Which body part has the highest value in a workers compensation claim? ›
Workers' comp cases with head injuries settle for the most money compared to settlements for all other body parts. Claims involving catastrophic brain injuries can sometimes settle for millions of dollars.How long does a compensation settlement take? ›
A claim can often take between 12 and 18 months to resolve – or longer if it is a complex case or if liability is disputed.How does a workers comp settlement work in Florida? ›
Typically, a settlement agreement will provide you with a lump sum of money in return for a full release of liability—meaning that you give up all of your claims against your employer for your work-related injury or illness, including your right to any additional workers' comp benefits.How long does it take to receive a offer of compensation? ›
In some cases, insurers will process the compensation payout within a few days. In most cases, though, you will have to wait between two and four weeks to receive your compensation.Can I claim unfair dismissal if signed settlement agreement? ›
However, under the terms of the new Settlement Agreements, discussions about the offer of such an Agreement cannot be used in an ordinary unfair dismissal claim unless there has been improper behaviour by your employer.What is the advantage of settlement agreements? ›
The main benefit for both an employer and an employee in relation to a Settlement Agreement is the guarantee. Everybody knows the outcome. The employer knows what they are paying. The employee knows what they will be receiving.Should I accept a settlement agreement? ›
So, should you accept a settlement agreement instead? If the amount your employer is offering you in a settlement agreement is greater than the value of an unfair dismissal claim, you should certainly accept. Weigh up the prospects of success against the amount you may recover.Can I work after a settlement agreement? ›
In most circumstances, the existence of a settlement agreement alone will not hinder your ability to secure another job. However, some agreements may contain restrictions that prevent you from working for another employer for an agreed period of time.Do you pay tax on a settlement agreement? ›
Usually a settlement agreement will say that you will be paid as normal up to the termination date. These wages are due to you as part of your earnings and so they will be taxed in the normal way.
Does workers comp follow you around? ›
When Do Workers' Comp Investigators Follow You? Any time after you file a claim, an investigator may follow you or investigate you. You're more likely to be placed under investigation if you have a large claim, have filed claims before or if the insurance company has any reason to be concerned about fraud.Does workers comp show up on background checks in Florida? ›
Many people have concerns about how a workers' compensation claim may affect job offers and whether it will appear on a background check. Does a workers' compensation claim appear on a background check? Yes.Does my employer have to hold my job while on workers comp in Florida? ›
No, there is no provision in the law that requires your employer to hold the job open for you. Can my employer fire me if I am unable to work because of an injury and am receiving workers' compensation benefits?What is the longest you can be on workers comp? ›
Some states limit the length of time an injured worker can receive temporary benefits. This range can be three to seven years. That said, there is not usually a limit on permanent disability benefits. However, some states do stop weekly benefits when employees reach the age of 65.Can I sue workers comp for pain and suffering in Florida? ›
Workers' Comp Does Not Cover Pain and Suffering
So, regardless of whether you receive regular benefit payments, negotiate a settlement, or sue to recover workers' comp, you will not receive any compensation for the non-economic damages associated with your job-related injury or illness.
Can I receive reemployment assistance and workers' compensation benefits at the same time? No, not if you are receiving temporary total or permanent total disability benefits as you must be medically able and available for work to qualify for unemployment.Is it better to resign or get terminated? ›
The advantages of quitting instead of being fired include the possibility of negotiating severance and a positive recommendation. Disadvantages of quitting include forfeiting the right to claim unemployment. Any time you think your job is in danger, it's a good idea to start looking for a new job just in case.How do you tell if you are being forced out of your job? ›
Telltale signs your company is trying to push you out:
They're not giving you new assignments. You're being passed over for promotion. You're not being called into important meetings. They're taking work off your plate.
You don't get paid fairly.
If you're doing the same work as someone else who's being paid more than you, or if you're doing more work than someone else who's being paid more than you, this may be a sign that you're not appreciated at work.
How Does a Workers' Comp Lawyer Get Paid? In Florida, workers' comp attorneys are paid on a contingency fee basis. This means the lawyer gets a percentage of the amount you receive as a settlement or an award from a workers' comp judge. You don't pay any fees if you don't win any benefits.
What is the max comp rate in Florida? ›
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has announced the statewide maximum weekly compensation rate for work-related injuries and illnesses occurring on or after January 1, 2022, shall be $1,099.00.Who pays for workers compensation in Florida? ›
Workers' compensation insurance is coverage purchased by the employer/business that provides benefits for job-related employee injuries, with a few exceptions. Florida law requires most employers to purchase workers' compensation coverage.How do I resign due to compensation? ›
Dear [employer], I am writing to share that I will be resigning as [your position] effective [last date]. [Explain your reasons for leaving, mentioning that you are seeking higher salary if you choose.] Thank you for [explain the things you appreciate about the job you are leaving.]What is a resignation settlement? ›
Resignation. A settlement agreement may include non-monetary consideration including requiring a current employee to resign from a job. Confidentiality. The parties may also agree not to disclose the amount of the payment that the claimant receives in the settlement.Can you be terminated while on workers comp in Florida? ›
Florida is an “at-will'' state when it comes to employment, meaning that an employer can terminate a worker for just about any reason. An employer cannot, however, terminate a worker because they are receiving workers' compensation benefits or filed a claim in the first place.Can I quit my job due to injury? ›
If you are injured on the job and file a workers' compensation claim but then leave your place of employment, you will still retain your right to some of your workers' compensation benefits. Depending on your specific situation, you might retain all of your benefits.What is the best reason for resignation? ›
Some good reasons for leaving a job include company downturn, acquisition, merger or restructuring as well as the desire for change — be it advancement, industry, environment, leadership or compensation. Family circumstances may also be a factor. Deciding to leave a job is a tough decision.What is the best resignation letter ever when unhappy? ›
I regret to inform you that this is my formal letter of resignation from [organisation name]. My final day of work is [day and date], [number of weeks] from the date of this letter. I'm grateful for everything [organisation name] has done for me over the years, but I have decided the time has come for me to move on.Is better compensation a good reason for leaving a job? ›
Compensation is and always will be one of the most common reasons for quitting a job. This can mean a higher salary, or it can be a combination of pay and other types of employee rewards and job benefits like retirement and stock options.