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  1. #1

    Post Worried About Job Loss After a Workers Comp Injury

    My question involves workers compensation law for the state of:North Carolina.
    Hi All!
    I'm new to the forum, and my wife said to come here to get some expert advice as she has done in the past. She said that you all were wonderful people with Great Advice! Here's my problem:
    I hurt my knee at work in February (2010)
    The injury was to the meniscus in my knee.(It was torn.)
    The Dr. immediately took me out of work until further notice.
    After surgery, I was out of work for 7 weeks.(Worker's Comp. paid me at this time.)
    When I returned to the Dr., He asked how I was doing, & as I was telling him that I was still in a great deal of pain,still had swelling, can't squat, kneel, or climb ladders, He turns to me and says "I'm going to keep you on light duty for 1 more month, release you and give you a disability rating, or you'll be fired.He also said that if I had anymore problems after that day, to go see another Dr!What got me was when I stood up to walk out of the examination room, he asked me, "What will you do if they fire you?" I said, "Well, I'd have no choice but to go back to school and draw unemployment, because I'm a textile technician, and have been ALL my life. I have my High School Diploma, but don't have a Degree to do anything else.One other thing...
    I'm a Volunteer Fire Fighter in my area. As SOON as I hurt me knee, before I was out of work or anything, I called the Chief of my Fire Department and told him that I was taking a leave of absence from the Fire Dept because I had injured my knee. All was ok, until I was put out of work. It wasn't but maybe a day or 2 before the safety Director for the Company I work for called my Chief, and the Fire Marshall's office asking if I was on active duty, and when I ran my last call!!! My wife lost her job, and wound up on disability from a work injury, and worker's compensation harassed the ENTIRE time, even after she got a lawyer. I'm being harassed at work now as well.
    So, the question is, should I ignore it, or should I go ahead and get a Worker's Compensation Lawyer? The Dr. gave me a 5% disability rating the day he told me all the other things! I'm still having BAD problems... I don't want to lose my job, but I think it's gonna happen anyway in time. Also, do any of you recommend a GOOD WC Lawyer around the Kings Mountain, Shelby, or Gastonia area in North Carolina? Thank you all so much in advance for your kind response(s).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Workers Compensation Question (Urgent Plz Help)

    IMHO, you should always have an experienced WC attorney before it gets to this stage. It is against the rules of this site to recommend attorneys; however, you can contact your nearest Bar Assoc Lawyer Referral Service and start calling a few.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    75,031

    Default Re: Worried About Job Loss After a Workers Comp Injury

    Your job protections come from laws such as the FMLA, assuming it covers your employer, not from worker's compensation law. That is, you're not guaranteed that your employer will hold your job for you, or will provide you with light duty work that is not otherwise available, if your absence due to injury takes you beyond the amount of leave provided under the FMLA (12 weeks per year, when it applies) or a similar state law. You may have ADA rights if you're back at work, have a qualifying disability, and your employer won't offer reasonable accommodation; I'm not sure whether your knee would qualify given the 5% impairment rating.

    If you are disabled from work, you may be eligible for retraining benefits under worker's comp. If your lawyer certifies that you are able to return to work, I would not expect you to qualify for any such benefits. If your doctor is trying to "save" your job by putting you back to work when you're not capable, he may be inadvertently setting you up for failure. I do suggest consulting a worker's comp lawyer about what's going on.

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