Do I have any recourse if I was demoted and my pay reduced after I came back from a work related injury?

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Do I have any recourse if I was demoted and my pay reduced after I came back from a work related injury?

I was injured at work and ultimately needed back surgery. I was covered under workman’s comp but my employer insisted that I apply for FMLA, basically implying that if I didn’t it I could quit my job. So recovery, physical therapy, work conditioning took almost 6 months. When I was released back to work, I was ordered my current position back, I accepted. 3 days later which would have been my first day back, my general manager told me that he didn’t realize how long I was gone, and I was stripped of my management position/ title, lost all my management bonuses, and would be paid 60 cents less per hour as a regular full-time employee. I don’t understand this policy. I was hurt at work, doing tasks that make the company money, I lost 13 of my wages, other potential bonuses, and after all I do that makes the company money, I’m the one who gets punished. I could potentially have back pain for the rest of my life, I probably have some degree of nerve damage in my leg due to a herniated disk pressing on my sciatic nerve. I went through surgery,and painful recovery with all that entails. I earned that promotion, I completed a management program, as well as an advancement course, I worked as a manager for almost a year, and they can take it all away like all my time and efforts meant nothing.

Asked on December 2, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Typically when you come back from workers' comp and short term disability injury, you should be given back the position you had before you left, incluging the same wage. The same holds true for FMLA as well, however FMLA is only for a maximum of 12 weeks. Maybe this is why your employer insisted that you take it instead of workers comp knowing that you would be out for lonfer than 3 months. At this point, you should consult directly with an employment law attoreny. After hearing all of the facts of your case, they can best advise you further.  


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