Being let go of your job is never easy. It can cause stress and anxiety, and for some people, it can even become a traumatic experience; especially, if wrongful termination is involved. With any new position that you begin on your employment journey, there are certain job responsibilities that you must be able to perform outright. Otherwise, why would an employer consider you for a job? However, on the contrary, what happens when you have been injured at work and can no longer perform your duties? How does this affect you and can you be terminated because of what happened? Let’s see.
Workplace safety is a serious matter. Employees are encouraged to actively play a role in upholding an organization’s workplace safety measures. This will ensure the entire team is protected and at the end of each shift, workers get home safely. Safety in the workplace is of the utmost importance and it deserves a seat at the head of the table. Workplace safety encompasses all of the official protocols that are in place to help diminish on-site risks and reduce injury and illness. It is vital that all employees are committed to workplace safety tips and measures to aid in creating a secure work environment.
Ignoring safety measures that are already established may result in injury at work. Usually, when an employee is injured, he or she wants nothing more than to resume normalcy as soon as possible. For most people, being out of work can be even more crippling than the injury itself! Depending on the severity of the injury, returning to work straightway isn’t always possible. Rest is known to be the secret ingredient to injury recovery. There is an adage that most people in our society uphold, “always on and always working.” Even so, there is a time for everything and those who have suffered injury must incorporate relaxation and restoration as they adjust from a victim to a client than to an over-comer.
After an employee is injured, they are typically limited in their capacity to work at the same level prior to their harm. Because of this, work restrictions are administered. Work restrictions are prohibitions set in place that prevent employees from performing certain tasks due to safety concerns. Most times, light-duty restrictions are ordered by the worker’s physician and limitations are placed on tasks that an employee could usually handle with no problem.
If the treating medical practitioner reports that the employee can return to work under certain conditions, any work assigned to them must meet those stipulations. Employers may be required to change certain tasks or provide helpful equipment that can aid the recovering employee’s performance. Under law, if you do not have proper work available to suit the suggested restrictions, the injured employee cannot be required to work. Employees may be forbidden from fully accomplishing aspects of their job duties such as pulling, bending, pushing, twisting, and lifting if their doctor recommends it. In turn, this can be a frustrating experience for an employee but it is vital to their recovery.
You may be entitled to compensation (comp) for lost wages if you have suffered an injury while at work. However, there are some instances when an employer does not properly handle situations where employees are harmed on the job. Unfortunately, some companies will discharge employees who are collecting workers’ comp. According to California Labor Code Section 3700, all California employers must provide workers’ comp benefits to their staff. Because workers comp is instituted by law, you cannot be terminated solely based on the fact that you have sustained injury and are now collecting workers’ compensation.
Nevertheless, there isn’t a yes or no answer that can shed light on if you can be discharged due to work restrictions. To be frank, it is a complex situation that can be difficult to remedy since there are several factors that must be included. It depends on what reasonable accommodations your place of employment can institute in order to satisfy the requirements of your doctor and aid in your recovery. A variety of aspects must be considered such as your exact restrictions, your workplace, business needs, and resources available to successfully implement alternative solutions on your behalf. For example, if you have injured your arm and your job duty depends solely on the use of your arm your employer may consider termination since you are no longer capable of doing your job. It all boils down to if your employer can accommodate you because of the injuries sustained. With any situation concerning employment law, it is always wise to consult with a knowledgeable attorney regarding these matters.