If you've filed a workers' compensation claim after a serious work injury, it's possible that you'll need continuous treatment long after you've been cleared to return to work. Physical therapy, check-ups, and other regular treatment appointments are fairly common when it comes to serious injuries, even if you're capable of working again.
But physical therapy and other care appointments often get scheduled during work hours, which means you'll likely need to take repeated time off to make your appointments. While it's illegal to fire a worker for filing a workers' comp claim, it's not illegal to fire you if you're unable to do your "essential duties." The risk of frequent time off is your employer may find that you're unable to do your job, rendering you vulnerable to losing your job.
So what can you do?
Can I Be Fired for Time Off for Doctor's Appointments?
Workers' compensation entitles you to light or modified duty to accommodate your injury. Additionally, you're entitled to wage benefits if you're earning a smaller income than you were before the injury. Light or modified accommodation should include the ability to take frequent time off for doctor appointments or physical therapy, especially if you are only partially recovered from your injuries. However, your claim may be subject to periodic review to challenge whether your medical treatment is still necessary for your recovery. Having a Pennsylvania workers' compensation attorney can help you sustain your benefits through these reviews.
However, that doesn't mean your employer may not try to fire you for needing periodic time off for your injury. Depending on your situation, you may be better off taking a leave of absence until you're fully recovered. Understanding the best approach for your workers' compensation claim is best done with an attorney at your side.
At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC, we have a certified specialist in workers' compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. His years of study and results in the practice of workers' comp makes him the ideal advocate for injured workers in Pennsylvania.
Speak with our firm today at (888) 498-3023 to get counsel in a free consultation. Learn your options at no risk.