If you’re off work because of a work-related injury, you should be getting two-thirds of your lost wages. Getting Lost Wages After a Work Injury.
Unfortunately, an employer can raise the argument that you are responsible for your termination and deny you lost wages while you’re treating. If you are treating for a work injury and you’re off work, it may be your employer is denying liability on your claim. It can also be because the employer is claiming that you were responsible for losing the job.
In almost every one of those cases, you are going to need to hire an attorney and you are going to need to go to court to make the employer prove that you were responsible for your termination.
You can lose your job and it may be a completely correct firing but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you were at fault. Responsible for termination in Colorado means that you had some degree of power over the circumstances. You could have exercised a choice to do A or B and you decided to do B even though you knew you were going to get fired.
Let me give you an example.
Suppose that you show up late to work because you overslept and your employer says if you show up late again this week you will be fired. The following day, you get in your car and as you are driving to work your tire is punctured on broken glass on the road. You have to pull over and change the tire. You show up to work 10 minutes late. Your employer says to you, “I’m letting you go because you were late to work two times this week.”
Now, are you responsible for the termination? The employer didn’t fire you the first time when, arguably, you were at fault for oversleeping. The employer said you would be fired if you were late more than once this week. That second time was not your fault. You exercised no control over the situation. You were late to work through no fault of your own. In that case, even though the employer legally may have been justified in firing you, you are still entitled to lost wages under workers compensation because you didn’t exercise control over the circumstances.