When you suffer an injury at work, you may know that workers’ compensation is in place to help cover your costs related to medical bills and lost time and work. What happens, though, when you need a lot of time off?
We often get questions like these. “Does my employer have to hold my job if I’m on workers’ compensation?” “Will I be able to go back to my job if I file for workers’ compensation?”
At John Foy & Associates, our Georgia workers’ compensation attorney encourages you to reach out to us for specific insight into your case. A free consultation is one of the best ways to get that information. We can offer some insight to you on what to expect in a broad sense here, though.
Does Your Employer Have to Hold Your Job for You?
The simple answer to this question is no. If you are claiming workers’ compensation, your employer does not have to legally hold your job for you until you recover and can come back to work. In fact, they can lay you off or even terminate your employment. They cannot terminate it because you filed for workers’ compensation, but they can eliminate the position or fill it with someone else.
Why is this the case? In some cases, employers are motivated to bring people back to work quickly after an injury, and they will hold onto that position to allow their skilled employees to return. However, if your injury will keep you out of work for an extended period of time, the employer may need to fill that position to keep the company operating.
Other employers will use this as a time to eliminate the position, sometimes saving money. Their goal may be to reduce their labor costs.
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What Does that Mean for You, Then?
The first thing to remember is that if you are hurt, workers’ compensation is there to support you. It is there to give you the financial means to get the care you need and not have to worry about the financial implications of being unable to work while you heal. Never avoid filing workers’ compensation because you are worried about your job.
Second, open the conversation with your employer about your goals and objectives. Your workers’ compensation attorney can help you with this process as well. Not every situation leads to the loss of your position, especially if you can keep the conversation with your employer open.
Here are some tips:
- Make sure your employer knows that you intend to come back.
- Keep them up to date about your injury to the point of knowing what to expect as far as your work status.
- Provide any documentation to your employer from your doctor to verify your claim.
- Consider using the Family Medical Leave Act, if it applies in your case, to protect your position for up to 12 weeks (restrictions in its use are possible).
- Ask your employer openly if they will maintain the position for you.
Workers’ compensation law does not outright protect your job; rather, it is designed to help cover your medical costs and other financial losses while you are employed. That does not mean you are limited, though. If you are likely to suffer long-term complications, you may be able to pursue financial compensation for those losses that go even further.
Can Your Employer Fire You for Claiming Workers’ Compensation?
It is very common for people to worry about this, and it is a justifiable fear. The key to remember is that you can lose your job, but not because of your workers’ compensation claim. How do you know if that is the reason for your job to be terminated then?
If you believe that your employer terminated your position because of your workers’ compensation claim, reach out to our legal team now. We will work with you to verify if that is the case, and if it is, we can help you to seek out compensation for your losses. We look for evidence of this in various ways:
- The manager stated that you filed for workers’ compensation, and that is the reason for your termination.
- They provided no other information about the termination.
- False statements were made in the termination documentation.
It is often hard to prove that this occurred, and often only circumstantial evidence will exist demonstrating it. However, good circumstantial evidence can still be helpful, and it may be used in your case to verify that your employer terminated your position unfairly. If that is the case, we can seek compensation for your losses.
Do You Think Your Employer Is Treating You Unfairly?
Take some time to discuss your case with our workers’ compensation attorney now. Allow us to get more insight into what is occurring. There are some situations where your employer may be violating your rights.
- Is your employer threatening your position if you do not come back?
- Are they outright denying your claim even if you have proof that your losses were occurring at work?
- Did you find yourself fired or laid off because you were injured?
- Does the employer try to push you to come back even though your doctor says you should not?
- Is your employer treating you poorly because you have work restrictions?
There are many instances where these types of losses occur, and they are unfair. Our legal team wants to help you navigate these situations to ensure your rights remain protected in all cases.
Set Up a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Case with Us
Turn to John Foy & Associates today to find out how we can help you. If you lost your job after filing for workers’ compensation, you may be able to file a claim against your employer. Though difficult to prove, our 25 years of experience is something you can count on.
Contact us now to learn more about what we can do to support you. We offer a free consultation. There is no obligation to work with us, and you will pay us nothing if we do not win your case.