Can I be demoted to a lesser paid position because I was injured on the job?

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Can I be demoted to a lesser paid position because I was injured on the job?

I was working at a higher paid position but got injured and was told that I had to go to the hospital to get checked out. My ex- employer immediately replaced my position with another worker who was already on site but being paid at a lower position at the time of my injury. I was told not to return back to work. The difference in pay was $10hour with 4 hour minimums. The employer basically switched our jobs and paid me the lesser job amount. I feel that I was wronged because I was hurt doing the higher job and should have remained at that pay scale even though I was injured.

Asked on November 13, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You cannot be demoted for having an injury--that would be a violation of anti-disability-discrimination law (which applies even to "temporary" disabilites, like recovering from an injury).However, you may be demoted if--
1) You can't do your job due to the injury; you don't have to be retained in a position, you cannot due.
2) You missed work due to the injury without using paid time off (PTO) you earned or without being eligible for and using Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave (you can find the eligibility requirements on the U.S. Dept. of Labor website under FMLA); an employer may discipiline, including demote, you for missing work without covering the absence with PTO or FMLA.
If you were demoted and 1) or 2) above did not apply, this may be illegal disability discrimination; contact the federal EEOC to look into filing a complaint.


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