A user on TikTok has sparked discussion after claiming that he was fired from his job. The only problem? He’s currently on workers’ comp.
In a clip with over 65,000 views, TikTok user Brenden (@freebird876) shows the letter telling him that he’s being let go due to his absence from the workplace, ADUSA Supply Chain.
“At this time, we will be proceeding with termination of employment,” the letter concludes. From here, Brenden removes the paper to show that he has a broken leg.
“This is how they treat you if you get injured on the job,” he writes in the caption. “Corporations are heartless, they see you as a dollar sign or a statistic.”
In a comment, Brendan explained, “I was injured last year at work by a forklift. I lawyered up and have been receiving surgeries since.”
Laws around termination and workers’ compensation are complicated. In general, an employer cannot fire you or otherwise retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. That said, in general, an employer is still allowed to terminate an employee on workers’ compensation under certain circumstances.
“Your employer may fire you for reasons unrelated to your injury or workers’ compensation claim,” reads a post from Ben Crump Law, PLLC. “For example, if, before you got hurt, you had a habit of showing up late, leaving early without permission, taking longer lunch breaks than you were allowed, turning in work with numerous mistakes, and missing deadlines, the employer may fire you for those reasons.”
Additionally, NOLO’s Disability Secrets site notes, “Your employer can fire you while you have an open workers’ compensation claim. But your employer must be able to show there were reasons for firing you or laying you off that didn’t have to do with your filing a workers’ compensation claim.”
Similar rules apply for medical leave. According to Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., an employer may fire someone on medical leave only if “the reason for termination is wholly unrelated to the medical leave.”
In the comments section, users noted that Brenden is likely required to send in paperwork notifying his workplace of his ongoing issues.
“I don’t know what happened but if you didn’t send in paperwork for your leave then they can,” said a user. “You have to send updated paperwork continually.”
“It’s hard when you’re in pain but you definitely have to keep them updated,” echoed a second. “they’ve even gone past the FMLA max of 12 weeks for you.”
Brenden wrote in a comment that his employer has all of the documentation they require. Many other commenters simply encouraged Brenden to hold his employer accountable.
“You got this! This is just bureaucratic BS,” stated a commenter.
“Glad you got a lawyer, workers usually believe and have faith in their boss to take care of them,” shared another.
The Daily Dot reached out to ADUSA Supply Chain via email and Brenden via TikTok direct message.