What are my rights if I hurt myself at work after my boss ignored my chiropractor’s note about my lifting restrictions?

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2015

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What are my rights if I hurt myself at work after my boss ignored my chiropractor’s note about my lifting restrictions?

Now I have a herniated disk in my neck and lost my job and canceled my insurance. Do I have a case against the company?

Asked on August 3, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Your boss did not ignore your chiropractor's note--you did. You chose to lift more than you medically should have and were injured; the fault, legally, is yours.

Your  employer hires you to do a job; if you cannot do that job, such as lifting a certain amount of weight (if that is part of your job), your employer does not have to create a new job for you, give you a different job, pay you for not doing your job, etc.--your boss can legally require you to do the job you are employed to do. If that job poses a risk for you, you have to decide what is more important--keeping the job, or being hurt. You could also decide to use sick, vacation, or personal days, if you have any, rather than work; apply for FMLA leave, if you and your employer are both eligible and covered; ask if you could take unpaid leave; etc. Whatever you chose, the consequences fall on you. In this case, you chose to continue doing your job even though it posed a risk to your health; your employer is not liable for your choice to do that. Unfortunately, while your situation is sympathetic, based on what you write, you do not have a case against the company.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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