Can I sue my employer for making me continue to work after being injured on the job?

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Can I sue my employer for making me continue to work after being injured on the job?

I unload 18 wheeler’s and had my ankle crushed between a motorized pallet jack and a pallet

by another employee. It isn’t broken but definitely hurt. We filed an incident report and passed a drug screen. My employer later told me that if I didnn’t unload another truck that I would be fired. Can I sue?

Asked on June 26, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Is your job to unload trucks? If so, then you have to do one of the following:
1) do your job--that is, keep unloading trucks, etc.;
2) use any paid time off (PTO) you have, like sick days you earned or accrued, to be absent from work while you heal/recover; and/or 
3) if your employer is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (which means it has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius) and you are eligible for it (e.g. worked there at least a year; worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months), then you can use FMLA leave to be absent from work while you recover.
Otherwise, there is no inherent right to miss work, to not work, or to not do the core (important) functions or aspects of your job, even if you are injured--you can terminated for not doing your job. So either use PTO or FMLA leave, if you have the former or are eligible for the latter, or else do your job as required by your employer; otherwise, you may be terminated.


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