Many people want to know if they can lose their job while seeking workers compensation benefits. Read on to learn why your employer does not have to hold your job while you're on work comp, and what you can to do protect yourself if you're unlawfully terminated.
If you feel you're being treated unfairly by your employer, or you're just curious about your legal rights, call (855) 221-COMP to speak with one of our workmans comp lawyers today. You can also fill out our free contact form. The call and the advice are free.
Does my employer have to hold my job?
What does my employer have to do if I'm hurt at work?
What can I do to keep my job?
Is my employment status protected while I'm on workers comp?
Can I be fired for claiming workers comp?
What can I do if I was unfairly terminated?
Are there other laws that protect injured employees?
Q. Does my employer have to hold my job?
A. Your employer does not have to keep your job open while you are claiming workers compensation. Unfortunately, you can be fired or laid off at any time.
It is an understatement to say that a work injury can be difficult. This is especially true when an entire family is relying on a sole breadwinner for financial support.
Workers compensation is not a perfect system, because it is a compromise between employer and employee interests.
Here's more information on employer responsibility regarding workers compensation in Michigan.
Q. What does my employer have to do if I'm hurt at work?
A. If you are hurt at work, you get workers compensation benefits regardless of fault. You are entitled to lost wages, unlimited medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation. You are not guaranteed to keep your job or to have future employment.
Your employer does not have to keep your job open and can fire you at will. This is common if your work restrictions prevent you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Many employers will keep your job available but will eventually need to fill your position.
Q. What can I do to keep my job?
A. Our workmans comp lawyers find that if you have an open dialogue with your employer, it's more likely that your job will remain available. Keep your employer informed about your work status and return any documentation that they request from your doctor.
This can be difficult when workers compensation benefits have been denied and you are involved in a lawsuit. It is a good idea to have a Michigan workmans comp lawyer help you with these issues.
For help from an attorney now, call us at (855) 221-COMP.
Q. Is my employment status protected while I'm on workers comp?
A. There's nothing in the workers compensation law that protects your employment status. If you come back to work, you are not guaranteed a specific job or rate of pay. You will be entitled to differential wage loss benefits if your work injury prevents you from earning full, pre-injury wages. Differential wage loss is the difference between what you are earning now and what you could earn before the injury.
Q. Can I be fired for claiming workers comp?
A. While an employer is not required to keep your job open, you can't be fired or discriminated against just for claiming workers compensation. This is a violation of the law and you can receive additional compensation beyond what workers compensation pays.
For instance, our workmans comp lawyers represented an individual who worked for a major automotive manufacturer. He was a new hire and was hurt on the job. His workers compensation benefits were denied, and he was terminated a few days later without explanation. This was good circumstantial evidence that his employer retaliated against him for filing a work comp claim. We successfully recovered workers compensation benefits and additional compensation for wrongful termination.
Q. What can I do if I was unfairly terminated?
A. Employers and insurance companies often will play dirty. You may be asked to have your work restrictions lifted so that you can come back to work against your doctor's wishes. You could then find yourself fired or laid off without any recourse. But your health and safety should always come first.
If you believe that you were terminated unfairly, it's important to speak with an experienced workmans comp lawyer to evaluate your situation.
Q. Are there other laws that protect injured employees?
A. Your job could also be protected by federal law. Your employer may have legal obligations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These are federal laws that protect employees with serious health conditions and disabilities from losing their employment.
It is also possible that your job is protected by an employment or union contract. Have an attorney review your specific situation anytime you have problems with your employer.
To speak with an experienced workmans comp lawyer today, call (855) 221-COMP. We've been protecting people injured at work for more than 35 years.
Our attorneys can explain all of your legal rights and answer your questions, and there's no charge or obligation. You can also fill out our free consultation form.