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  • Time on workers comp

    How long is an employer required to hold a position open for a person who is on workers comp?
    If the employer makes multiple phone calls to find out the status of an employee on workers comp and the employee makes no effort to return the calls, does the employer have to keep his job open? The employee did send doctors notes via fax, but no personal contact.

    What happens if the injury the person is on workers comp for will prevent them from performing the task they were originally employed for? Do you have to provide alternate employment?

  • #2
    How long is an employer required to hold a position open for a person who is on workers comp? That depends on your state, which you did not provide.

    If the employer makes multiple phone calls to find out the status of an employee on workers comp and the employee makes no effort to return the calls, does the employer have to keep his job open? If FMLA is involved, you MUST hold the job for no less than 12 weeks, regardless of employee contact. If FMLA is not involved, then it becomes situation specific. You would need to provide more details.

    The employee did send doctors notes via fax, but no personal contact. Personal contact is not required. You are not providing enough information to give you anything more specific than that.

    What happens if the injury the person is on workers comp for will prevent them from performing the task they were originally employed for? Do you have to provide alternate employment? Again, you have not provided enough information. It would depend on both state law and whether or not the nature of the condition invokes the ADA.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      The State is California,the employee is a salaried person with no employment contract. The injury is to the employees back and he his required to perform physically demanding jobs for most of his daily activities. I dont know what FMLA is?

      Thanks

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      • #4
        In Ca you can not terminate the person absent a very good reason. There is not maximum, but there is also no minimum. How long has it been since you have heard fro mthis person? How long have they been out?

        An employee being on WC isn't exempt from your usual notification and leave policies. You may have to allow them to be off for longer than those out for non-work related injuries, but that doesn't mean they don't ever have to provide notice of their need for leave or to contact you to keep you informed of their status.

        That said, in WC you can contact the provider directly or get the progress reports from the carrier. Not that this exempts the employee from returning your calls or keeping you informed on their own, but it does keep you from being in the dark totally.

        Depending how long they have been out, I'd suggest sending a letter by registered mail (you have notice it was sent and delivered) that explains you have not heard from him/her in X amount of time and unless they call and speak with ________ by M/D/Y, you will assume they have voluntarily resigned their position. Explain in the letter what is expected in terms of notification of absences and documentation for leave purposes.

        You can find out more about FMLA here www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/ and here www.dol.gov/esa/programs/whd/state/fmla/ca.htm
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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