Workers in any profession could suffer an injury on the job in Iowa. Retail workers could slip in a spill. Factory workers could end up hurt by machinery. Social workers could experience violence when a client loses their cool.
Most of the time, injured workers require a combination of medical treatment and leave to recover. In more extreme cases, they may even need support from their employer when they come back to their jobs. Some injured workers take for granted that their employers will facilitate their return to work. Others assume the opposite.
What can workers generally expect from their employers while recovering from a medical condition caused by their employment?
They can expect to return after leave
Even if an employer does not offer paid leave, workers should be able to take time off to recover from an injury or medical condition caused by their job responsibilities. Provided that there are medical recommendations for a specific amount of leave, employers should generally allow a worker to take a leave of absence until they are fit to return to work.
Their workers’ compensation benefits can provide them with disability pay until they have healed enough to resume their work. Particularly when the business is large enough to absorb the cost of bringing in temporary help or moving workers from one department to another, workers should be able to rely on taking time off during their workers’ compensation claim if doing so is necessary for their recovery.
They can request reasonable accommodations
Some workers don’t need to take more than a single day away from work if their employer can make some changes for them. Some injuries may necessitate assistive technology. Other times, workers may need to move to a different position to prevent worsening a repetitive stress injury. Companies could also provide work-from-home opportunities or make adjustments to someone’s job, such as allowing them to sit during their shift, which will lead to a better medical outcome.
Provided that the accommodations are reasonable and directly relate to a medical professional’s instructions, workers should be able to trust that their employers will help them get back on the job when they are capable of doing so. Unfortunately, some employers will be unable or unwilling to cooperate with those hurt on the job.
Knowing the basic ways in which employers should seek to work with injured employees can help people better assert themselves during a workers’ compensation claim.