How to Protect Your Job after a Personal Injury

Long Island, New York, Personal Injury Lawyer

After a serious accident, you may need weeks, if not months, to recover. As a result, you may not be able to return to work for a long time. While you may be eligible for certain medical benefits through your employer, if you fail to take certain steps after a serious accident, you could lose your job. It is important to remember that New York is an “at-will” employment state; in other words, your employment is considered to be “at your own will” Or “at the will” of your employer. Consequently, except in cases involving protected classes of people or when employees exercise certain legal rights, an employer can terminate a worker for little or no reason at all. So, it’s essential that you take advantage of the rights and protections afforded to you under state and federal law.

The Family Medical Leave Act and Personal Injuries

Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical reasons. In order to qualify you must be an “eligible” employee. This means you must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months and your employer must have 50 or more employees. Under the terms of FMLA, you are entitled to return to your job after your leave ends. If an employer eliminates your position, they must provide you with a job with comparable pay and similar job opportunities. There are rare instances in which employers are exempt from these requirements if they can actually prove your job was slated for elimination or that a comparable job does not exist. However, these kinds of cases are the exception and not the rule.

Filing for Medical Leave with Your Employer after an Accident

After your injury, you should contact your employer and begin the process of filing for FMLA. Under New York law, your employer can require you to take sick pay concurrently with FMLA leave, but only if they’ve first made such a policy clear — usually in writing — at the beginning of your leave. Your employer may also require medical information from your doctor and a medical release from him or her indicating you can return to work. Under FMLA, however, you are not required to have a company-approved doctor evaluate your injuries. After 12 weeks of leave, an employer is not required to provide you a job.

Short-Term Disability after a Serious Car, Truck or Motorcycle Accident

Under state law, employers in New York are required to provide short-term disability insurance for people who have been on a job for least a month. The benefit pays 50 percent of an employee’s salary, but typically cannot exceed more than $170 a week. Employers must provide short-term disability benefits for up to 26 weeks. While short-term disability won’t protect your job, it can provide financial support while you heal or begin the process of filing for long-term disability.

Contact Long Island Personal Injury Attorneys Rosenberg & Gluck

There are a number of financial and legal issues that must be addressed in personal injury cases. If you’ve been seriously injured in a car, pedestrian, motorcycle, medical malpractice, or slip and fall accident, contact Long Island, New York, personal injury attorneys Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP today for a free consultation.