Having an accident at work that causes you a serious injury can be devastating. You cannot work or make money, so you rely on workers’ compensation to help you get by until you heal and can return to your job.
You may wonder, though, if you will have a job to return to. According to the Division of Workers’ Compensation, your employer does not have to hold your job for you while you are off on workers’ compensation.
Job loss when injured
So, your employer does not have to keep your job open. It can fill the position with someone else, leaving you with no position. However, that does not mean your employer can fire you or lay you off due to your injured status.
The law does prohibit employers from firing employees when they are off on workers’ compensation. What that means for you is that when you return to work, you may not be able to return to the specific job position you held prior to your injury, but your employer must offer you a position that is comparable.
Discrimination and retaliation
You should note that any type of discrimination or retaliation against you due to the injury is illegal. If your employer puts someone else in your position, it must ensure you do not suffer once you return. Your employer cannot give you a worse position or a lower-paying position as a way to punish you for the workers’ compensation claim.
You do get some job security if you suffer an injury and must file for workers’ compensation benefits, but your employer also has the right to ensure the company can continue to operate while you are off by filling your position.