What are my 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. 

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

What if I have problems getting my benefits?

The Bureau's mediation program is designed to help resolve disputed issues in a workers’ compensation claim. Our goal is help both sides identify and resolve issues such as compensability disputes and medical treatment denials without formal legal proceedings.

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.

Right to Medical Care and to Appeal Decisions

  • If injury is deemed work-related, an employee has a right to receive present and future medical care made reasonable and necessary by the work injury from an authorized medical provider.
  • If an employer/carrier denies medical care recommended for the work-related injury, an employee, his/her attorney, and the medical provider recommending the medical care have a right to appeal the denial through utilization review.
  • An employee who claims a work-related injury, timely, has a right to have a hearing before a Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims Judge.
  • If the employee disagrees with the decision by a Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims Judge at a compensation hearing, the employee has a right to appeal to either the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board or directly to the TN Supreme Court (but there are time limits for filing an appeal).
  • Other protections against harassment or discrimination, although not workers’ compensation, may be available from:

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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