The Right To Keep Your Job Open While Receiving Temporary Disability Benefits
One justified concern that most injured workers who are on leave for temporary disability under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation system have is will their job be available when they have recovered and are able to work again. This is a rather difficult question to answer and you should consult with an NJ workers’ compensation attorney for legal guidance.
How Long Is an Employer Obligated to Keep a Disabled Employer’s Position Available?
According to New Jersey court rulings, employers will not violate the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination by failing to hold a job open for an employee who is on leave of absence for temporary disability if “at a certain point” it places significant pressure on other workers in the workplace or on management.
However, just what this “certain point” entails is not clear, as the range is somewhere between 12 weeks and one year. This is why it is important to consult with an experienced NJ workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that your job is available for you as long as possible.
Different Statutes and Contracts Affecting an Employer’s Obligation to Keep a Job
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employers are guaranteed up to 12 weeks of leave with job protection. If the employer gives proper notice to its employee, this 12-week period can run concurrent to temporary disability benefits.
Similarly, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a leave of absence to recuperate or obtain treatment may constitute a reasonable accommodation that the employer must provide.
Employees may also have a right to have their job available to them upon returning from a leave of absence due to a work-related injury under an implied contractual right pursuant to company policy.
However, even if your job is no longer available, your employer will still be obligated to provide you with temporary disability benefits as long as you continue to be eligible to receive the benefits.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney
For more information about whether your employer is obligated to keep your job available while you are out on temporary disability or if you have any other workers’ compensation concerns, call the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404 to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced workers’ comp attorneys. We have offices in Elizabeth, North Brunswick and Newark, New Jersey to better serve you.