Accident at Work? Where would you go from here?

by admin on May 24, 2010

Having a work situation here and not quite sure where to go with it from this point.

If, after sustaining injuries whilst doing your job at work, you have been off work for almost 18 months but still undergoing treatment (ie.surgery, physiotherapy,counseling etc), is it legally fair/right for your employer to ask you to apply for another position in your workplace/department? This would involve going back onto a 3 month probation period and no guarantee that they would keep you on after this period. You have also worked for this company for 9 years. Are they within their rights to do this/ask you to do this?

There is nothing to say that after all the treatment etc, you wouldn’t be able to do the job you are already employed to do. But if they have been paying you for these 18 months and they feel it is "going on for too long". can they ask this? Where would you stand in this situation?

Before you all ask, no-one can be blamed for the accident or be found to blame. It was just a freak accident that happened – no faulty equipment, inadequate training etc.

If they can do this, where would you go from here?

I know, this is the Dog section, but a lot of you guys may be able to help on this, and Im more likely to get more answers here!!
I have asked in the "Law" section on here also, consulted numerous solicitors etc who dont want to touch it as the employer is a registered charity and "blame" cannot be placed with anyone…..
Bobbie/Bonnie/Ripp – read additional details if you are going to bother answering.
I asked here because I trust these guys opinions and a lot of my contacts and the people I respect only frequent this section.
Ta, Iggy! Im going to have to read your answer lots to get my head round it! The only problem is, I live in the UK. They are not offering another job, merely saying that if vacancies come up, the person must apply for it. Problem being, the only vacancies that ever do come up are office based and the person involved has severe dyslexia – they know she cannot do an office job and therefore will fail before she starts. Ill let her know what you said though.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Iggy's Cabbage Patch Gang May 24, 2010 at 5:59 am

1–you were injured on the job

2–Your on Wokers Compensation

3–your getting your medical paid in full, you pay nothing for medical

4–your drawing a percentage of your wages till you are fully released from your doctor to go back to work.

The Workmens Compensation Laws are there to protect the injures employee

Now, your work does not have to hold your job open past 6 mos of being off on Workmans Comp, or if you are medical leave under a doctors care for any reason.. AND YES THEY ARE WELL WITHIN THEIR RIGHTS BY LAW TO ASK YOU TO TAKE A DIFFERENT POSITION.

Your work can give your position to anyone they want to give it to, and yes they can put you ina new position, but here is where you need to stand your ground, you cannot be put on a 90 Day Probation for the new job, you are already a long time employee.

However, they can monitor your progress in the new position, and you will need to be doing that job correctly, or yes, they can terminate you.

But, they would have to prove you were not doing your job and that they did not let you go due to the accident

Workers Compensation Board can get very sticky with an employer over terminating anyone that has been off due to WC.

Talk to your employer and see what position you will be transferred to.

At least they are trying to keep you in the company, and they cannot lower your pay, you cannot be reduced in senority or pay grade level at all.

They know all of this……

And, one last thing, you cannot Sue any employer for Workers Comp injuries to get money, the only way any state allows since the year 2002 is that if the employer denies your injuries and does not want to pay you for being off, which they are covered by WC insurance and only if they deny the claim and wants to fight it, then you would have to get an attorney to get them to pay, but still you would only get paid for time off and medical, you cannot sue for money.

This law was passed to protect the employers, so many false WC claims were being filed and lawsuits being filed, the states had to step up, the insurance premiums for WC were so high, the companies were trying to be Self Insured, putting a huge bond to cover any work related injuries.

So, sorry you were injured on the job, but your one of the lucky ones, your getting paid, medical and your company wants to put you in a new job, or they may take you back and you keep your old position.

You were doing something right for 9 yrs that is why they are trying to keep you in a job, and with todays economy, I would say, sure I will take the other job, but make sure you do not loose the senority or your pay…..

Good luck

PS I deal with WC cases every day, and they are all the same….

Call your local States Workmans Compensation office, they will tell you the same thing…..You cannot sue an employer for money over an injury, unless they have denied your claim….

DeeDawg May 24, 2010 at 5:59 am

gee, i don’t know- this sounds like a better question for a lawyer…

snow white and the seven knights May 24, 2010 at 5:59 am

call an attorney

Me May 24, 2010 at 5:59 am

I would ask why they want you to move to a different position. You should also ask for the probation period to be waived since you have worked there so long. They probably do have the right to ask you to do this, and their argument would be that at least they are still willing for you to come back to work after such a long period of time.

If they are unwilling to waive the probation period, refuse to transfer.

Bobbie L May 24, 2010 at 5:59 am

Why would you ask this question to a bunch of total strangers online, in a dog section. Why not hire a work comp attorney???

wishnuwelltoo May 24, 2010 at 5:59 am

Welcome to dogs. Well your question is interesting. It really depends on where you live, and the laws there. It also has to do with what is in this particular companies employee handbook. Most employers will require a one year leave of absence and will not guarantee a job at all if you do not come back. I knew a guy who had cancer and was not recovered after a year, and lost his job completely. I think you could consult a lawyer to see what your choices are in this situation. I think I would take a new position as opposed to loosing my job completely. Good luck.

Aussies are my ♥ Dogs May 24, 2010 at 5:59 am

YAY! I love Iggy, you are so smart!

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