Employees are often encouraged to report and file an accident claim if an incident that threatens their safety occurs at their workplace. However, the less discussed subject is that workers shy away from doing anything for fear of losing their jobs.
Indeed, some employers frown upon employees that file for workers’ compensation claims, but a majority are okay with it. The fact is that nothing can guarantee that you will get your job back after you recover from the injuries, but the law protects you against discrimination. Pasadena personal injury attorneys can safeguard your rights and help seek compensation if they are violated.
Can I be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
It is illegal for your employer to either harass, reiterate, or fire you for filing for workers’ comp in California. If you feel like your termination at work was related to your claim, you can report to the Workers’ Compensation Board. Your former employer can be charged with “discrimination” if the allegations are proved.
Therefore, injured workers should not shy away from filing for the compensation they deserve for fear of losing their job or suffering at work. Discrimination is a serious offense that can cost companies a lot of money, and many are keen not to end up in court with such charges.
Is my Employer Obligated to Keep My Position Open for Me?
The Workers Compensation Law does not obligate an employer to keep a vacancy open for an employee recovering from work-related injuries. However, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave – in a year – if they suffer a serious medical condition.
Most employers take their workers back after an injury at work, but it is essential to keep in contact with them to determine the status of the job. If the position is no longer open, don’t worry because you can collect Unemployment Insurance benefits.
Can I Still Work with a Partial Disability?
With a partial disability, you lose some abilities to earn an income. This means that you can do lighter work than what you could do previously, and you can work part-time as well. You should look for or accept jobs to prevent the consequences of “Voluntary Withdrawal from the Labor Market.”
Contacting your employer to see if you can return to your previous work is an excellent idea. Don’t forget to inform them of changes they can make to make it easier for you to do the job. Alternatively, they can offer you some other job to make your return to work smoother. The good thing is that you may be eligible for “reduced earnings” benefits if your wage is lower.
Who Should I Notify When Returning to Work After an Injury?
The insurance or the Workers’ Compensation Board need to know when you return to work. And if your work status changes, you, your representative, or your construction accident attorney should inform whoever is paying the benefits.
Note that future employers cannot deny you opportunities because you filed for workers’ compensation. They are not even allowed to ask you about it, and the Workers’ Compensation Board cannot share such information with other employers either. So when you are able, willing, and ready to go back to work, you don’t need to worry about a thing.
What Happens to My Workers’ Compensation Payments if I Return to Work?
If you returned to work with a disability and have to receive a lower wage, part of your compensation benefits could make up for it. Notably, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects you from discrimination if you qualify for a job.
In fact, the employer is required to make sure that you can do your job without imposed difficulties by providing “reasonable accommodation.” The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is always ready to help people that feel like they didn’t get the job because of their physical disabilities.
Will I Get Medical Treatment for the Injuries After Returning to Work?
You can get compensation for the medical care you seek after returning to work, provided it is related to the injuries sustained at work. What’s more, you can also recover what you spend on travel to get the treatment.
If you are absent from work some days and can prove that it is due to work-related injuries, you can get workers’ comp benefits for the days you miss. Remember that it is vital to keep the records of the medical evidence, pay stubs, and the lost time.
What Should I Do If Unable to Do Normal Work Due to My Injuries?
Workers’ Compensation Board can link injured employees with social workers or vocational rehabilitation counselors for training and help find work. They will first determine the kind of help you need, and you can benefit from programs like financial assistance, child care, and services for persons with disabilities.
If you need a new skill, the board can send you to a training agency. If not, they can help you:
- Cope with the disability or injury
- Prepare to return to work
- Request a job accommodation
- Explain gaps in your resume
- Handle the hard questions
- Get ready for a job interview
- Write resumes
- Fill out job applications
- With a job or career counseling
Notably, taking up rehabilitation services will not end or reduce your benefits or affect your case in any way.
Protect Your Rights with the Help of a Workers’ Comp Attorney
Don’t hesitate to silence the loud voice in your head that’s holding you from seeking help after an injury. You will realize that the possibilities are not as scary as you initially thought when you speak to a knowledgeable lawyer.
You deserve to recover maximum compensation for your injuries, and experienced workers’ compensation attorneys in Pasadena, CA, are the right ones to help you. Call Thon Beck Vanni Callahan & Powell at (626) 795-8333 for honest, legal advice in a free consultation session.