Can employer fire me for an on the job injury?

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Can employer fire me for an on the job injury?

My boss/owner fired me today. I suffered an accidental self inflicted gun shot wound at work (an oil change place). I brought my pistol in the office from my car when I told my boss I was selling it and he wanted to see it. During this I was disassembling it and it fired, blowing half my hand out. After I got out of hospital I went back to work to get my car and he told me I was let go. Since he instructed me to bring the gun in, during business hours, isn’t he responsible for worker’s comp? Can he fire me for bringing in a gun when he instructed me to? What do I need to do, I can’t afford this.

Asked on September 24, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your injury.  I do not think that you can classify it, though, as a "job injury" as it really had nothing to do with your employment.  And although it may seem as though you acted under his direction in the viewing of the hand gun, it may be a stretch to imply any negligence on his part in your accident.  If you are an "at will employee" then you can be fired for any reason.  I would try and file for unemployment and see what happens.  He may or may not contest it.   I would also consult with an employment attorney in your area on the matter.  Good luck. 


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