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Workers' Compensation and Quitting Your Job

by Jamie Nichols

When a work injury puts you at home instead of at work, you might have reason to worry if you end up quitting your job. If you are considering resigning from your position while you are still recuperating, read on to learn more.

When You Can No Longer Stay With the Job

When you earn workers' compensation benefits, you are not only entitled to medical expenses and disability wages. In some cases, you may be entitled to work with restrictions. This means that the workers' compensation doctor has not cleared you to return to your previous position but has cleared you to work at a different position. The work may be less strenuous and require fewer hours than your previous job. Unfortunately, in some cases, the work you are assigned is far from the one you would have chosen to pursue and is unrewarding, boring, difficult, or inappropriate. While the job may take your disability and medical restrictions into account, it fails to provide you with enough motivation to work at all. If you quit a job based on these reasons, you may be placing your benefits in jeopardy. While this decision is unlikely to negatively affect your medical treatment benefits, the workers' compensation insurance carrier may object to your rejection of a suitable job and try to deny you your disability wages. If your job does not suit you, speak to a workers' compensation attorney before handing in your resignation to find out the ramifications.

When the Job Is Unsafe

When the workplace you return to appears unsafe, you have the right to refuse to work there. You must be able to prove that the working conditions were unsafe in order to continue being covered by workers' comp benefits. These cases can hinge on the testimony of safety experts, and you will need the help of an attorney to prove that hazards threatened the health and safety of you and other workers at that workplace.

When You Are Being Forced to Resign

Workers' compensation insurance carriers are not the only ones to pay a financial price when you suffer from a workplace injury. Your employer likely has to pay an increased premium for the insurance coverage as a result of your claim and other workers' claims. Additionally, the work you may be assigned to will inevitably leave your position empty and your employer without a good worker. They cannot fill the position until your case is resolved, so they may try to force the issue and make you resign. The law is on your side in this case. You cannot be fired or forced to resign because of a workers' compensation claim. Contact a law firm like that of Lee Eadon Isgett Popwell & Owens to learn more.