How long can an employer hold your job if you are out-of-work because of your Workers' Compensation injury?

Asked about 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

Is there a one, two, five, eight, ten, fourteen years, etc., time frame which you can be fired from your job or placed on disability retirement from your employer because of a work-related medical condition? Basically I'm asking can you be fired on forced to retire because of your workers' comp. work-related disability? Or is it medical leave where you can't be fired or forced to retire?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Kenneth Michael Sheppard

    Contributor Level 12

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    Answered . If your employer has more than fifty employees and you have worked there for at least a year, your employer must hold your job open for at least twelve weeks pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (and California's Family Rights Act). Beyond that, your employer is under a continuing duty to "reasonably accommodate" your disability pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (and California's Fair Employment and Housing Act).

    Whether keeping your job open constitutes a "reasonable accommodation" is subject to many factors, including the nature of the work you perform, the size of the employer, its business needs, etc.

    In light of this, there is no hard-line rule obligating your employer to keep your position open for the duration of your disability, although doing so may constitute a reasonable accommodation.

  2. Brett A. Borah

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Mr. Sheppard has it right. Under other areas of the law there may be some requirements but not under workers' comp. You could be terminated in a day or a year depending on the circumstances. They key is that they cannot treat you any different from any other employee who is off work for medical reasons.

    Good luck.

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