Can I Be Fired for an Injury Outside of Work?
November 12 2019 - More and more people are†living paycheck to paycheck. That makes your job security so much more important.
Does your work depend on physical ability? What if you get into an accident during off-hours, leaving you unable to work?
Can I be fired for an injury outside of work? That's a legitimate question, and it's a major concern for your job and financial security.
Read on to find the answer to this pressing question.
A Brief Look at Worker's Compensation
In most instances, when you're injured performing your job duties, you have a right to file for worker's compensation.
Worker's comp is insurance that most employers are required to have. The employer is totally responsible for the cost of worker's comp insurance. They cannot take that money out of your paycheck.
In the event that you are injured on the job, you can file a worker's compensation claim. When your claim is approved, you are entitled to recover lost wages and have your medical bills covered.
In exchange for this coverage, you give up your right to sue your employer for negligence, which could have created the cause of injury.
In the event that you're injured on the job, you would report it immediately, see a doctor, and get a diagnosis. Once you get that diagnosis, you'd work with your HR department to file the worker's comp claim.
Can I†Be Fired for an Injury Outside of Work?
Life is messy, and anything can happen to you. You could slip on ice walking to work and break your wrist. You could get into a car accident. You can get injured playing soccer during the weekend.
Anything can happen to you at any timeóno matter how much you try to protect yourself.
The question is that what happens if you get injured outside of your job duties, like if one of these things happen to you.
The law becomes very complicated around this situation, especially if you can't perform your regular job duties. You won't be covered under worker's compensation because the injury didn't happen when you were at work.
You may be fired from your job if you are no longer able to perform your job duties. In many cases, that's enough cause for you to lose your job.
It depends on where you are and your employer live. Some states allow employers to fire employees for no-cause. That makes it much easier for employers to replace you without repercussions.
You may be covered by the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, which requires employers to hold your position open while you are on family or medical leave.
It was originally intended to give new parents the right to take an extended leave from work after the birth of a child.
Under the FMLA, you can take up to 12 weeks off after an off-the-job injury without getting fired. Your leave is unpaid, but at least you'll have a job to come back to.
If you work for a small business with less than 50 employees, your job may be at risk. FMLA only applies to companies that have more than 50 employees and all public agencies.
What to Do When Youíre Injured off the Job
There are a lot of ambiguities when it comes to off the job injuries. There are steps you can take to protect you and your family if you are injured off the job.
Get a Diagnosis
The first thing you need to do is to see a doctor. You'll want to get a diagnosis and understand the extent of the injury.
If it's a serious injury, you may want to consider a second opinion. That will protect yourself in case your employer has any doubts as to your ability to work.
Communicate with Your Employer
After you see the doctor, you'll need to let your employer know whatís going on. You may have several options available. It depends on the extent of the injury and how long you'll be out.
For example, if you're out for three weeks with your injury, you may be asked to use up your vacation and personal time off. The employer will find a way to cover your work while you're out, and you'll have a job to come back to.
Are you able to work, but need special accommodations? If you're able to show up and do your job, employers with more than 15 employees have to provide reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
You'll be able to work and do your job even though you're injured. Another option is to try to work from home.
What if you're unable to work at all for more than 12 months? You may qualify for federal disability insurance.
See an Attorney
There is no clear cut answer as to what happens if you get injured outside of work. There are no guarantees that you'll be able to keep your job.
You do want to take all of the steps to protect yourself in case you do lose your job. If your injury wasn't your fault, you may be able to file a personal injury claim.
That will allow you to recover some of the costs as a result of the injury, such as lost wages and medical costs. You'll want to see the†details about this firm†to find out more about that option.
The attorney will also protect your rights to make sure youíre not fired in violation of the law.
Protecting Yourself When Injured Outside of Work
You don't know when anything can happen in life. If you do get an injury outside of work, it can be scary because you can lose a lot.
Can I be fired for an injury outside of work? That's a common question that's asked. Unfortunately, there isn't a clear answer. You can assume that if you work for a small company, you can be replaced.
In other cases, you may have legal protections on your side. It best to start with your diagnosis and let your employer know what happened. You can then make the best decisions for your family.
Do you want more career news? Check out the careers section of this site often for more great job tips.
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