In the United States, your boss cannot legally force you back to work too soon after an injury. Suffering an accident or injury at the workplace can be a challenging and stressful experience. As an employee, you have the right to focus on your recovery without fearing being rushed back to work before you are ready. Various federal and state laws protect workers’ rights in the United States. Two critical laws that come into play in workplace injuries are:
– Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Rules protecting employees eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within 12 months for specific family and medical reasons, including their serious health condition. This law ensures that employees can take time off for medical treatment and recovery without fear of losing their job or facing retaliation.
– Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): This law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees with disabilities, which includes injuries that substantially limit a significant life activity. If your injury qualifies as a disability under the ADA, employers have to make accommodations for employees with disabilities to ensure equal employment opportunities.
Reasonable accommodations may include modified work hours, temporary job restructuring, or additional tools and equipment to aid your work tasks. Consult a medical professional to understand whether you can return to work after an injury. Their assessment will help establish a suitable timeframe for your recovery and ensure you do not return to work prematurely, potentially exacerbating your condition.