What are your rights if you are hurt on the job while in Chicago? There are laws in place to protect injured workers, to help them recover, and to enable them to move forward financially in the event that a workplace accident happens, but the laws may not always provide enough protection. With regularity, lawyers hear stories about employees who were mistreated or even terminated following a work injury though those actions are contrary to both public policy and state law.
Now, a recent study out of Harvard University is lending support to the idea that injured workers are more likely to lose their jobs than those who are never hurt while working. The study involved questioning 1,331 nursing home employees who worked in nursing facilities on the east coast over an 18 month period. Through the surveys, participants were asked to disclose whether they were injured, what their employment status was at the time, and whether they had changed employment since the prior survey. Shockingly, at the one year mark of the study, 30 percent of participants reported that they had been injured at work and roughly 25 percent reported at least one job change by the time the study concluded at 18 months.
The workers surveyed were not always fired but did leave their place of employment for one reason or another. The study concludes that those who were hurt on-the-job were twice as likely to be terminated as their uninjured counterparts during the six months following an injury and that workers who suffered multiple injuries at work were more than twice as likely to quit in a six month period than those who were never hurt. Workers who were hurt just once were more than 30 percent more likely to leave during a six month period following their injuries than were employees who were uninjured.
There are several takeaway points from this important information. First, not enough is being done to prevent nursing home workers from becoming injured in the first place. While the study does not assign blame with regard to individual injuries, it is apparent that there would not be a discrepancy in the outcome of injured and uninjured workers if no workers were ever injured. Secondly, the treatment provided to injured workers may not be acceptable and may not be enough to get these employees back to a place where they can feel safe while performing their duties. Finally, there is some indication that employers are firing injured employees in part due to the injuries they sustained even though this action is a violation of the employee’s rights.
If you work in a nursing home in Illinois and you are hurt on the job, know that you are protected by law, regardless of what your employer claims. You have the right to seek legal representation in a claim for your damages and you have the right to keep your job or to return to your job once you are fit to work again.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call and to help you understand your options if a work injury has affected you or someone you love. We offer a case consultation without cost or obligation to those who call us toll free at (855) 529-2442, locally at (312) 924-7575, or contact us online. When you call us, everything discussed during the consultation will be kept confidential and we will discuss the particular facts of your unique accident. Further, if we represent you, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf and we will fight for the best possible outcome for you.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we believe in helping those who have been hurt. If we can help you, contact us today.
Prior Blog Entry:
Chicago’s Drowsy Driving Problem, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published February 11, 2016.
Injuries at work may increase risk of losing one’s job, by Madeline Kennedy, Reuters, published February 5, 2016.