If I’m fired for being on light duty work, can I collect unemployment benefits?

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If I’m fired for being on light duty work, can I collect unemployment benefits?

I am a CNA on light duty for a work related injury. I have been on light duty since the end of last month and have remained on my shift. I have a agreement from my employer that while on light duty I will perform 1:1 responsibilities for 2 residents. These residents are still on 1:1. Why cant I continue to care for them my shift? Can they make me change shifts? I cannot work 1st or 2nd due to childcare. If I get fired for missing my shift, or they force me to take a LOA when they have light duty work on my shift, and I am willing to work that but they refuse can I collect unemployment?

Asked on August 24, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Timothy David Belt / The Belt Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

To answer your question, if you are terminated due to your employer not having work within your restrictions, but you remain able and available to work, you have a good chance of receiving unemployment.  Similarly, if your employer is aware of your child care issues and changes your shift, this could also result in a valid claim for unemployment.

As a side note, if you are working a modified job due to a work injury and are terminated, you enjoy a presumption that your loss of earnings is due to the work injury.  As such, you may also have a claim for workers' compensation wage loss benefits.  Workers' compensation is normally more than unemployment and unlike unemployment, workers' compensation is tax free. 

Your claim has the potential to become rather complicated if not handled correctly, so if you do not already have an attorney, I would strongly suggest that you contact one to discuss both workers' compensation and unemployment.  Most attorneys will provide a free initial consultation, so there is no financial risk to you.

Timothy D. Belt, Esquire

(570) 714-3343

Timothy D. Belt, Esquire / The Belt Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

To answer your question, if you are terminated due to your employer not having work within your restrictions, but you remain able and available to work, you have a good chance of receiving unemployment.  Similarly, if your employer is aware of your child care issues and changes your shift, this could also result in a valid claim for unemployment.

As a side note, if you are working a modified job due to a work injury and are terminated, you enjoy a presumption that your loss of earnings is due to the work injury.  As such, you may also have a claim for workers' compensation wage loss benefits.  Workers' compensation is normally more than unemployment and unlike unemployment, workers' compensation is tax free. 

Your claim has the potential to become rather complicated if not handled correctly, so if you do not already have an attorney, I would strongly suggest that you contact one to discuss both workers' compensation and unemployment.  Most attorneys will provide a free initial consultation, so there is no financial risk to you.

Timothy D. Belt, Esquire

(570) 714-3343


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