Most workers will return to work in some capacity following a workers’ compensation injury. But for how long does an employer have to hold your job for workers’ compensation? Can your boss terminate you while you are on workers’ compensation? Or fail to admit you once you have healed?
When wounded employees are permitted to resume work, most states do not compel companies to keep employment open for them or even offer them other vacant ones. Nonetheless, a few jurisdictions give workers the right to be reinstated or rehired after a set length of time. There are also other laws, which may offer a wounded employee employment protection or extra monetary incentives.
The Majority of States Do Not Necessitate Re-Enactment
Your employer cannot terminate you in any state if you were hurt in the workplace or filed a workers’ compensation claim. That would be unlawful retaliation, which is against workers’ compensation rules. Nevertheless, in the majority of states, the coverage stops there.
Employers can terminate injured employees who are on workers’ compensation leave. For instance, if your physician has ordered that you be excused from work, and your company wants to fill your job, it is usually free to do so.
Nonetheless, it may be in the business’s best interests to employ a competent and eager worker to resume work. It decreases the worker’s lost earnings, which decreases the amount of workers’ pay handed out to the worker. In most jurisdictions, an employee’s benefits will be terminated or decreased if they decline to accept the position.
Some States Have a Right to Preferential Reinstatement or Rehire
A few states have regulations that provide wounded workers with employment protection. In such states, employees have the right to be reinstated to their positions after a set amount of time. For instance, in Rhode Island, wounded workers have the right to return to their old positions for approximately a year from the day of injury. Employers with ten or perhaps more workers are required to reinstate the employee in their former job, even if it is occupied by somebody else in the meantime.
Employers in other states are barred from terminating employees who are still recovering from work-related injuries. In Oklahoma, for instance, employees obtaining temporary complete disability payments may not be fired because they are absent from work.
In other jurisdictions, the wounded worker is just given preferential hiring. In Massachusetts, for instance, a wounded worker who reapplies for work must be given priority over other candidates who the firm does not currently employ. The criteria only pertain to opportunities that are appropriate and open.
Federal Employment Laws That Offer Job Security
A work injury can sometimes result in a serious, protracted impairment, which counts as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or analogous state statutes. The ADA requires employers with 15 or more workers to make sensible adjustments for workers with disabilities for them to execute their tasks. Practical adjustments might take different forms, including:
- Reduced working hours
- Supply of workplace equipment
- Transferring you to some other position for which you are competent
Likewise, the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees with severe medical concerns to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave. A severe medical condition might or might not qualify as a disability under the ADA. The FMLA only extends to firms with 50 or more workers, although several states have regulations that apply to smaller employers as well. The worker must be restored to his/her previous or comparable work at the end of the absence.
Seek Legal Help
If you believe your employer is treating you unjustly, or if you simply want to discover your legal rights, contact (602) 532-0700 to talk to one of the Phoenix Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Snow, Carpio, Weekley. Once your attorney determines that you have a potential compensation claim, he/she will guide you on the appropriate course of action.