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If a settlement is offered and I accept, does that mean that I lose my job and insurance benifits?

Spencer, TN |

I work as a servitor for the State OF Tn. My wages are 3.09 per hr. I have been drawing w/c for over a year. The Dr. has released me with restrictions. I don't know what to expect if an offer is made. I don't want to lose my job or my benefits but am unable at this time to return to my former position. There is no other job class that I can be sent to with the same pay. How does this work for full time servitors for the state of TN?

A servitor is what we are to be called now according to the state of TN. Just another name for waitress.

Attorney Answers 2

  1. Best answer

    Legally, there is no requirement that you lose your job when a workers' compensation case is finished in Tennessee. The real answer to your question is practical - can you continue to do your job in your injured condition? You are facing a situation where you have been released from active medical care with restrictions. Whether or not you can continue to work there depends on whether or not the State can accommodate your restrictions. An accommodation is where your job gets modified slightly to allow you to avoid hurting yourself further. It is common for accommodations to get made, so long as they do not prevent you from doing a major portion of the job. In any event, the way Tennessee workers' compensation law is set up, your employer has the choice of whether to put you back to work or not. Your case becomes potentially worth more if you are not returned to work making at least the same pay you made when you got hurt. It is not required that you be put back on "your" pre-injury job. It only matters if the job they return you to 1) is within your working restrictions; and 2) pays at least as much as when you got hurt. If they do that, you will have legally been returned to work under workers' compensation law in Tennessee, and your case will have a more limited value. In any event, if they offer you a position to come back to, your first duty is to try to make it work (assuming the job is within your restrictions). Sometimes it takes some negotiation to get the job tailored just right. Also, keep in mind that if you are a State employee, most of the usual rules of workers' compensation apply, but not all, because claims against the State are sent through the Tennessee Claims Commission, with their own set of rules. However, most of the time, your circumstances will track the same laws as other workers. Bottom line is: can you do the job? You don't want to be working in a place where you are at significant risk of additional harm, because having a healthy body is more valuable than any benefits paid by workers' compensation. The good news is that once you get used to your restrictions, your work as a servitor could translate into a food service job with another employer under the right circumstances. You should consider contacting a workers' compensation attorney in your area to discuss all the circumstances of your case, since application of workers' compensation law is often very case-specific.

  2. My English is pretty good, but servitor is a new word for me. Wikipedia indicates that you are a student who receives educational benefits in exchange for some services. You don't indicate what your job duties were, but it does not sound like your benefits/job are going to continue if you are unable to perform your duties. An inability to perform your job duties, with or without reasonable accommodation, is generally an Unemployment situation.

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