How Long Does An Employer Have to Hold A Job For Someone on Workers’ Compensation?
If you have suffered a work-related injury, you may have concerns about job security. Injured employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but unfortunately, your employer does not have to hold your job for you until you recover.
Understanding the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act governs the workers’ compensation system in the state. According to the Act, injured employees are entitled to wage loss benefits and medical treatment, but not job protection. If your employer requires a replacement for your position, they have the right to hire a new employee or delegate your duties to an existing employee. In addition, they have the ability to fire or lay you off. However, certain scenarios may trigger job protection under other laws.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides certain employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for specified family or medical reasons, including a serious health condition. While FMLA provides job protection during the leave period, it is essential to note that not all employees or employers are covered by FMLA.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Considerations
In cases where a work-related injury leads to a disability covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer may be required to make reasonable accommodations for the employee. This could include modifying the job duties, providing assistive devices, or adjusting work hours. However, the ADA does not mandate specific job retention periods.
Potential Impact of Collective Bargaining Agreements
For employees covered by collective bargaining agreements or union contracts, job protection provisions may exist within the negotiated terms.
If your employer fires or lays you off after you file a workers’ compensation claim, you may have the right to sue your employer for wrongful termination if you can prove that your termination or layoff was done in retaliation.
What Benefits are Injured Workers Entitled To While Recovering?
In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation provides various benefits to employees who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses. The types of benefits available include:
Covers necessary and reasonable medical expenses related to the treatment of work-related injuries or illnesses. This includes doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation.
Wage Loss Benefits
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): Provides approximately two-thirds of salary for workers who are temporarily unable to perform their job duties due to a work-related injury or illness.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): Offers partial wage replacement for workers who can perform some work but at a reduced capacity or with restrictions.
Specific Loss Award
Provides compensation for the loss or permanent disfigurement of certain body parts, such as limbs, fingers, toes, or eyes.
Offers financial compensation to the dependents of a worker who dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, in addition to covering reasonable burial expenses.
Assists injured workers on returning to gainful employment by providing vocational training, education, or job placement services.
If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, speak to a trusted Philadelphia work injury attorney from Rosenbaum & Associates as soon as possible. They can guide you through the workers’ compensation process and protect you from retaliation.