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Employees who are injured on the job have rights, including the right to file for worker’s compensation and receive medical care, two-thirds of their regular wages, and physical therapy if necessary. Sometimes employers will retaliate when an employee has been off due to a work-related injury and then returns to work, in the form of a suspension. Our Georgia workers’ compensation attorneys can help you fight back if that happens.

Understanding Suspension

There are many reasons why an employee may be suspended in Georgia. 

Suspension of an employee means that they are not allowed to work, and typically they do not get paid during that time. Suspensions are supposed to be disciplinary measures due to a serious workplace rule being broken, for example drinking on the job, sexual harassment, violence, etc. The employer is supposed to use the time [up to six weeks] to investigate the incident that caused the suspension.

Understanding Suspension After Work Injury

Sometimes, employees who have been out on leave due to a work-related injury will return to light duty instead of their regular duties. “Light Duty” can mean a number of different things, such as:

  • Restrictions on the amount of weight the worker can lift
  • Limited prolonged standing or walking
  • Reduced work hours

If a medical professional determines that a worker is not ready to return to regular duty, the employer must accommodate the employee. The employee also has a duty to return to work within ten days. 

However, sometimes, an employer will retaliate by issuing a suspension, which can be a precursor to termination. Proving that the employer is retaliating can be a challenge.

It’s important for an employee to attempt to do the light-duty job for at least one day. If you cannot do the work for as many as fifteen days, your workers’ monetary benefits should be reinstated. Sometimes, this requires your attorney to ask for a hearing in front of a judge, who will decide if the benefit is appropriate.

Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits While Suspended?

You may be wondering if an employee who has been suspended can still receive workers’ compensation benefits. It depends. It may be that your attorney will have to file suit against your employer to ensure that you receive benefits. That lawsuit may include a wrongful termination claim. 

Unfortunately, an injured worker who is receiving benefits may still be fired in Georgia. 

State law may offer other legal protections for employees against unjust suspensions after a work injury. These may include, but are not limited to, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If you are not fully well (and therefore you are disabled, under the ADA) and you are suspended or terminated, there may be grounds to file a discrimination lawsuit against your employer.

You Don’t Have to Work This Out on Your Own

Your Atlanta and Savannah workers’ compensation attorney at Parsons Law Group will help you understand what money may be available to you. Call us today if you have experienced a suspension or worse, a termination. We can ensure you get the right help.