Is it legal for an employer to require that an employee always obtain authorization for a work related injury or illness?

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Is it legal for an employer to require that an employee always obtain authorization for a work related injury or illness?

My 18 year old grandson is a welder. A few nights ago, he sustained a second and third degree burns to his lower leg. The burn is at least 3 inches in diameter and looks like a crater. He immediately reported the incident to his supervisor. His supervisor cleaned the burn and advised him to go home. This was at approximately 10 pm. Later, due to increased and severe pain, my grandson went to the emergency room. The next day, he reported to the safety coordinator. The safety coordinator told him that he did not have the right to seek medical intervention without authorization from him unless it was a life and death situation. He told him that he should have just put a band aid on it and waited until morning. He was threatened with termination and suspended for three days without pay. Is this legal protocol?

Asked on December 30, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your grandson was injured at work, it is always standard protocol for the employer to request medical authorization from your son's treating physician that he can or cannot return to work. The reason is that under the worker's compensation act, the employer is required to report this work related injury to his or her worker's compensation insurance carrier.

As to your grandson's right to medical treatment, he has the absolute right to such with or without employer approval. The threats with respect to termination and suspension for seeking medical aid by the employer with respect to your grandson are improper.


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