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Kansas recognizes a cause of action for discharging an employee in response to his or her exercising rights under the Kansas Worker's Compensation Act. Unlike other states, such as Missouri, there is no statute that creates this cause of action. Instead, the claim is a "common law" cause of action. This simply means that it is created from case law, rather than a statute passed by the Kansas legislature.
A fired employee must show four things to successfully bring about a claim for retaliatory discharge. Bracken v. Dixon Industries, Inc. First, the employee filed a worker's compensation claim or suffered an injury that would have allowed the employee to file a worker's compensation claim. This means that an employer cannot simply "race against the employee" to HR so the employee is fired before any claim is made. Second, the employer has to know about the claim or the injury. This is usually not an issue in the context of claims, because the employer will have notice of the injury as soon as a claim is filed. Third, the employer must terminate the employee. Fourth and finally, the employee must prove that the employee was fired because of the worker's compensation claim or injury. Proving that termination is brought on in retaliation for exercising rights--that the employer had retaliatory intent--is almost always the most difficult part of these cases.
If you have been fired after suffering a work-related injury or filing a worker's compensation claim, you may have a claim against your former employer. Click below to let us know about your termination and see if we can help you today!
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