When you suffer an injury on the job, it can be very stressful. Depending on the severity of the injury, the coming months may be filled with frequent visits to the doctor, physical and occupational therapy and a lot of rest. You may be worried that your position is not secure enough to allow you adequate time off to recover. What’s more, your boss’s impatience may cause you to feel pressured to return to work before you are ready.
Recovery takes time. That’s why workers’ compensation laws are in place. They’re meant to protect you and your job when you are injured at work.
Keep these things in mind
Workers’ compensation does not grant your employer the right to fire you after you’ve been injured on the job. However, your employer is free to recruit temporary help to cover your duties while you are out.
Talk to your employer about your projected time frame for returning to work after you see your doctor. Remember, your doctor is the only one who’s qualified to decide when you will be able to start working again. When you address the issue with your employer, it is helpful to have a written medical report or statement on hand that spells out your recovery timeline. Human Resources can add this to your employee file.
What if my recovery takes longer than anticipated?
You may suffer an unexpected setback with your recovery that requires you to be out of work longer than you originally anticipated. Should this happen, update your employer right away. If you sense that you are being pushed to go back to work before you are physically ready, talk to someone who is familiar with workers’ compensation legislation for guidance on handling the situation.