An Illinois industrial worker was on the job at a factory that he had been employed at for three years when he injured himself through the course of his job. Reportedly, he was transporting a tub of shells when something went wrong and he suffered injury to his lower back and side. The man sought medical advice and was instructed not to work for a few days.
The injured worker attempted to return to work on a few occasions, but could not do anything overly strenuous because of the pain that it caused. He likely continued trying to come to work because he was concerned about his source of income. However, it became apparent that he was too seriously injured to continue working.
However, it appears that the man did not respond to his employer’s inquest when they asked that he seek additional medical evaluation. A worker does have the right to choose the medical professional that evaluates them to ensure a fair and unbiased evaluation, however they do typically need to be evaluated. It would be difficult to simply say that you injured yourself and then expect to begin collecting benefits without question.
Instead of communicating this to his employer, he stopped calling in to work and simply didn’t show up. This company has a policy of terminating employment when an employee fails to report or show up to work three days in a row.
When the man did not report to work for an extended period of time, far outside three days in a row, and failed to make any contact regarding his status, his manager terminated him. Reportedly, the injured worker filed for workers’ compensation benefits, which was settled with the factory, but then he attempted to file an additional lawsuit on the claim that the company terminated his employment because they knew that he planned on filing a workers’ compensation claim.
There are certain procedures that need to be followed in order to ensure that an injured worker receives maximum coverage. Unfortunately for this worker, a court found that the worker’s termination was on valid grounds because he violated company policy. If a worker is injured on the job, they may be unaware of the exact steps that they should take to protect themselves; experienced legal counsel can aid injured workers through the process of financial recovery.
Source: Human Resources Journal, “Was Factory Worker Fired Because Bosses Were Anticipating Workers’ Comp Claim?” Oct. 4, 2012
- Our firm handles similar cases. To learn more, please visit our Illinois workers’ compensation page.
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