If you are injured on the job, you will likely have to take time away from your job to recover. You will likely receive medical care and treatment during this time, which is usually covered by Florida workers’ compensation benefits.
After the injury, you may be able to return to work in some capacity but unable to do the job you had prior to the accident. You may also have limitations set by your doctor or physical therapist. For more severe injuries, you may not be able to return to work at all. An example would be someone who suffers a brain injury and requires surgery. This individual will likely be out of work for a few months or longer.
If you find yourself in one of these situations, you may wonder – does your employer have the right to replace you with another person? Is this illegal since the company discriminates against you after an injury and fires you because of the injury?
These are all good questions. It’s also worth noting that every case is unique, which means the best thing you can do is to speak to a Florida workers’ compensation attorney to discuss the specifics of your case.
Replacing Injured Workers in Florida
In most situations, an employer should not fire an injured worker. In some cases, they may be breaking the law if they do this. This is the case if it is discovered that the firing is because the employee was trying to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
The court has stated that some business realities have to be considered with that in mind.
Requirements to Replace an Injured Employee
If an employer plans to replace an injured employee, it may be required that the employer show that the action was necessary to continue doing business.
For example, if a worker is out of work for around a week with some type of minor injury, they will not be fired. If someone is out of work for nine months due to a back injury, the employer may have to hire someone to replace them temporarily so that the business can continue operating as usual. In this situation, hiring another worker is not illegal or prohibited.
Dealing with a Complex Situation
As you can see from the information above, the circumstances of your case will dictate what happens in your injury situation. In some cases, your employer will need to bring someone in to fill your position while you cannot return.
Hire a Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Assistance
If you find yourself in this situation, it is good to hire a Florida workers’ compensation attorney to better understand what may happen and your rights. An attorney can also help you through the process of recovering benefits for the injury you experienced while on the job. With the help of a legal professional, it is possible to protect your rights in these situations.