Workers Compensation and keeping your job are independent of one another. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly think that being injured on the job means that your employer has to keep your job for you. That is not the case. There is no such requirement in the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. Virginia is an employment at will state and so your employer can let you go at any time, but this will not affect your entitlement to workers’ compensation.
Many times an injured worker who is receiving workers’ compensation benefits loses his job which also makes him loose his health and other benefits. Review your company’s personnel policy or Union contract. You may have rights regarding medical leave of absence. If your employer has 50 or more employees, The Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will apply but that only mandates that an employer keep you on for 90 days. If you have gone back to work and you are still under work restrictions (due to your on the job injury) when you are let go, you may be able to start receiving a WC weekly check again.
by Michele S. Lewane, Attorney at Injured Workers’ Law Firm, Richmond, Virginia