Here’s what you need to know about returning to work while on workers’ compensation benefits in Missouri.
Suffering a work-related injury can be stressful and devastating. Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits can help make ends meet and alleviate some of your worries.
However, it’s not uncommon to be concerned about returning to work. For example, you may wonder, will your employer hold your job until you get back on your feet? Here’s what you need to know about returning to work while on workers’ compensation benefits in Missouri.
Will Employment State
Missouri is an Employment-At-Will State, Meaning your employer generally doesn’t have to keep your job open and can lay you off at will. Therefore, your employer generally has a right to lay you off and hire somebody else in your position.
However, you can increase your chances of returning to work after a workplace injury by informing your employer about your injury status. Also, you can give them any documentation they request from your doctor. To successfully do this, talk to your doctor about your job duties and ask them of any work restrictions your employer should know of when you go back to work. If there are any restrictions, have the doctor write them down so that you can provide a copy of that note to your employer.
- When healthy enough to return to work, and with the help of an attorney, notify the workers’ compensation board and inform them of any work restriction, if any.
- Have a sit-down with your employer and create an effective return to work plan. A good plan will help you fully transition to work and remain productive.
- Return to work only when you are fully recovered. Returning too early can complicate your recovery, increase the risk of reinjury and make it difficult for you to recover fully.
Laws That Protect Your Job
Your employer generally cannot lay you off for seeking workers’ compensation after a work-related injury. Also, they are not allowed to fire you based on race, gender, color, nationality, or disability. If this has happened to you, you may have a wrongful termination case.
Also, as per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), if you have a disability, you may be entitled to reasonable accommodations from your employer. This may include moving you to a different job that you can comfortably handle after a work-related injury.
What if Your Benefits Stop After Being Dismissed?
If you are dismissed while still receiving workers’ compensation, your benefits should generally continue coming until you have fully recovered or reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).
However, things may change if you are convicted or were fired for refusing to return to work after being cleared by your doctor.
Speak With an Experienced Kansas City Workers Compensation Attorney
Have you been injured at work and are concerned about returning to work? Talk to experienced Kansas City workers’ comp attorneys at The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. We have over 30 years of experience and a proven track record of success protecting the rights of injured Missouri workers. Call us today for a FREE case evaluation.
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