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Can my employer fire me if I can't return to my job?

Law Offices of Jeremy K. Lusk, Inc.

If you are temporarily given work restrictions by your treating doctor which prevent you from performing your regular duties, and your employer does not have a job available for you that meets those restrictions, you are entitled to receive temporary disability and the employer generally cannot legally terminate you.

If after your condition stabilizes permanently, the doctor places permanent work restrictions on your ability to perform your regular duties, the employer has 60 days from the date that your doctor reports that your condition is permanently stable to offer you a job that meets your permanent work restrictions. If within those 60 days, your employer determines that they do not have a job for you that meets your permanent work restrictions, your employer can legally terminate you as it pertains to your workers’ compensation claim.  Essentially, after your injury becomes permanent and stationary your employer has to determine if you can return to your regular job, a modified job, or an alternative job.  If not, your employment will likely be terminated.

Also keep in mind that this is with regards to your workers’ compensation claim and return to work issues only.  The employer has additional responsibilities and could have liability for discrimination as governed by either the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  This article does not address those issues or requirements.

If you have questions about your workers' compensation case and want to talk to an attorney in Fresno, call 559-408-7436 or fill out the form to the right.