What Are My Rights

Know Your Rights

Employees have the right to report an injury or illness that they suspect is caused by work.  They also have the right to report this without fear of being fired or terminated.  It is illegal for an employer to fire an employee for reporting a work injury.  If an injured employee is fired and believes it was for reporting a work injury, the employee may wish to consult an attorney.
The Workers’ Compensation Bureau does not have authority to resolve wrongful termination claims.


Can I be fired for reporting my injury?

No, it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee for reporting a work injury. If an injured employee is fired and believes it was for reporting a work injury, the employee may wish to consult an attorney.

The Workers’ Compensation Bureau does not have authority to resolve wrongful termination claims.


What if I have problems getting my benefits?

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation administers a mediation program designed to help resolve disputed issues in a workers’ compensation claim. Its goal is to resolve disputes that involve compensability, medical treatment including future medical benefits, and/or temporary disability benefits which an employee believes might be due.

An injured employee having difficulty receiving benefits related to a workplace injury can seek assistance with resolution of those issues by submitting the proper form to this Bureau.

·   For injuries occurring on/after July 1, 2014, the employee must file a Petition for Benefits Determination to seek the Bureau’s assistance.

·   For injuries occurring prior to July 1, 2014, the employee must file a Request For Mediation Form to seek the Bureau's assistance.

Some workplace injuries are so severe that the injured employee never fully recovers.  Some workers are left with a permanent disability, or impairment.  In these claims, the injured employee may be entitled to permanent disability benefits and/or future medical benefits.  The parties are encouraged to try to settle these issues through negotiations and are allowed to attempt to resolve the issues.  So, while private negotiations are allowed, no party can file suit, in any court, to resolve issues regarding permanent disability benefits and/or future medical benefits prior to exhausting the Benefit Review Process.  


What if my claim is denied?

When a claim is denied, it means your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance adjuster believes your injury is not compensable, meaning that it is not covered by workers’ compensation. If the adjuster denies your claim, you have a right to challenge the decision. The right to receive workers’ compensation benefits does not stay open forever.  In most cases, the deadline to file the request is one year from the date the injury occurred; or the date the last temporary disability benefits were paid or medical benefits were provided for the injury, whichever is latest. If a dispute regarding compensability occurs, an injured employee may seek help resolving the dispute from the Bureau.


Need More Help?

If you have additional questions, please call 615-532-4812 or 800-332-2667 or contact us by email at wc.info@tn.gov. Find out about other available assistance programs by contacting an ombudsman