Understanding Your Rights to Leave Following a Workplace Injury

At Vargas Guerra, LLP, we recognize that recovering from a workplace injury can be a challenging time, especially when it impacts your ability to work. Knowing your rights and the correct process for requesting leave is crucial. This guide is designed to help you navigate the process of requesting leave after sustaining an injury at work.

The Importance of Taking Leave for Recovery

  • Health First: Prioritize your health and recovery. Working while injured can exacerbate your condition and prolong recovery.
  • Legal Protections: Various laws protect your right to take leave for medical reasons, including after a workplace injury.

Legal Frameworks Supporting Your Right to Leave

  1. Workers’ Compensation Leave:

    • Eligibility: If your injury is covered under workers' compensation, you may be entitled to temporary disability benefits while you are unable to work.
    • Process: Report your injury to your employer and follow their procedures for workers’ compensation claims.
  2. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA):

    • Coverage: Up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for qualified medical reasons.
    • Eligibility: Employees who have worked for their employer for at least 12 months and meet other criteria.
  3. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

    • Reasonable Accommodations: If your injury qualifies as a disability, you may be entitled to reasonable accommodations, including modified work schedules or leave.

Steps to Request Leave

  1. Report the Injury: Notify your employer about the injury and your need for leave as soon as possible.
  2. Medical Documentation: Obtain and submit medical documentation specifying your need for leave and the expected duration of your recovery.
  3. Understand Your Employer’s Policies: Review your employer's leave policies to ensure compliance with their procedures.
  4. Formal Leave Request: Submit a formal leave request, as required by your employer, detailing the reason and length of your leave.

Navigating the Process

  • Communication: Keep open lines of communication with your employer about your recovery progress and expected return to work date.
  • Documentation: Maintain thorough documentation of all communications, medical reports, and submitted forms.

How Vargas Guerra, LLP Can Assist

If you encounter difficulties in requesting leave or face retaliation for taking leave due to a workplace injury, Vargas Guerra, LLP is here to help. Our team is well-versed in employment and injury law and can guide you through your rights and legal options.