Michigan attorney discusses potential legal issues if an employee gets laid off while collecting workman’s comp benefits
Employees who are hurt on-the-job are protected under workers’ comp law. Problems occur when the employer or insurance company refuses to pay. This frequently happens when an employee gets fired or laid off while on workers’ comp in Michigan.
Can a person be laid off while on workers’ comp and have their job protected?
In Michigan, a person can be laid off while on workers’ comp and the employer does not have to offer a job within restrictions and there is no job protection. However, work injury benefits should still be owed.
Employers are given a power incentive to bring people back to work. They do not have to pay any lost wages if they offer a job within an employee’s restrictions. This is called “reasonable employment.” Unfortunately, some employers play games and offer jobs that are outside restrictions or just downright demeaning. The goal is to have an employee quit and forfeit his or her lost wages. We tell our clients to never to quit and let the employer lay them off.
Sometimes an employer will use fault to justify a lay off. Bad employers try to escape paying lost wages by making up a pretext to fire someone. If an employee is fired or laid off because of their own actions, it will be argued that no workers’ comp lost wages are owed because they removed themselves from the job. This is common when someone fails a drug test. It is very important to speak with an experienced workman’s comp attorney should this occur.
How are lost wages paid if someone is laid off for an extended period of time?
Yes, if less than 100 weeks of employment has been worked, lost wages should be paid based upon the original average weekly wage when the accident occurred. If between 100 weeks and 250 weeks, it will be up to a magistrate to determine an employee has established a new wage earning capacity. If the employee is laid off after 250 weeks of reasonable employment, there is a presumption of a new wage earning capacity, and payment of lost wages is in doubt.
Can a person be laid off while on workers’ comp and still receive payment for medical treatment?
Getting laid off while on workers’ comp in Michigan does not excuse the payment of medical treatment. Medical treatment should be paid 100% regardless of employment status.
Employees who are disabled should also get lost wages equal to 80% of their after-tax average weekly wage. This is calculated using the highest 39 paid weeks out of the 52 weeks before getting hurt. Overtime, discontinued fringe benefits, and even second jobs that cannot be performed anymore should be included.
Do not accept unemployment benefits without speaking to an attorney
Do not accept unemployment benefits without speaking to an experienced workman’s comp attorney first. We recommend exploring other legal rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to protect employment status. Watch out for employers who fire people in retaliation for making a claim as this would be illegal.
Contact our workman’s comp lawyers for a free consultation
If you were laid off while on workers’ comp in Michigan and your benefits have stopped call now to speak with an experienced attorney about your Michigan work injury claim, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. We’re here for you.
Our attorneys have been exclusively helping injured workers in Michigan for more than 35 years and can help you better understand Michigan work injury laws and explain what happens if you or a loved one has been hurt on the job. To see what our own clients have to say about the caring, compassion, and communication they received from us, you can read in their own words about their experience here on our testimonials page from clients we have helped.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.