CanI be terminated due to an on-the-job injury?

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CanI be terminated due to an on-the-job injury?

I am an employee for a independent contractor. I was injured on the job by his equipment which required stitches and prevented me from doing my job efficiently. He told me to take 3 days for which I will not be compensated. I fear I might be terminated as a result of the injury. Is this legal?

Asked on April 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to review what your contractual arrangement is or what the company policy is with this company. Second, you need to understand that in most states employment is considered at will, so you can actually be terminated with or without cause except in retaliation or for discriminatory reasons. If your company offers disability, you should be able to get short term disability if you qualify. Further, if your company offers FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), you can be allowed to be off your job for up to 12 weeks without pay and the company is required to keep your position open for you. It may be worth it for you to at least speak to your state's department of labor, to at least protect yourself and make sure that if you do wind up getting terminated, that you qualify for unemployment. On the job injuries are tricky, especially for workers compensation benefits, because you need to show that this injury was not due to your own negligence but possibly a safety issue compromised by the employer.


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