Does My Employer Have to Hold My Job While on Workers Comp in Ohio?
Experiencing a workplace injury can be a daunting experience, both physically and emotionally. The worry about job security and financial stability can add to the stress. If you’re an employee in Ohio who has been injured on the job and is now on workers’ compensation, you might be wondering whether your employer is obligated to hold your job during your absence. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key factors related to job protection while on workers’ comp in Ohio.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is a system designed to provide medical benefits and wage replacement to employees who are injured or become ill due to work-related activities. It’s a crucial safety net that helps employees access medical care and financial support when they’re unable to work due to their injuries.
Job Protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. This leave can be used for various reasons, including the employee’s own serious health condition, the birth or adoption of a child, or the care of a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition.
If your injury qualifies as a serious health condition under FMLA, and you meet the eligibility criteria (such as having worked for your employer for at least 12 months and a minimum of 1,250 hours during the previous year), your job may be protected for up to 12 weeks. During this time, your employer generally cannot terminate your employment solely because you are on workers’ comp leave.
Union Employees working under a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)
Generally, FMLA is the only job protection that injured Ohioans are entitled. However, if you are part of a union and work under a CBA, most likely your job will be protected well beyond the 12 weeks of FMLA job protection. If this applies to you, consider yourself very fortunate.
To ensure a smooth process and protect your job, maintaining open communication with your employer and keeping them informed about your medical progress and estimated return-to-work date is crucial. This can help them plan for your absence and make necessary arrangements.
While being on workers’ compensation in Ohio doesn’t guarantee unlimited job protection, there are significant safeguards in place to ensure that you don’t lose your job solely due to your injury. Understanding your rights under both federal and Ohio state law is essential to navigate this challenging situation. If you’re facing this situation, consider consulting legal counsel or resources provided by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to ensure you’re well-informed about your rights and options. Remember, your well-being is a priority, and the law is designed to protect your interests during your recovery. Contact us now online to hear more information about workers compensation.