What Do I Do If I am Unemployed After a Work Injury

Q: After my work injury, I was “let go” by my employer. Was that legal? If so, is there anything you can do to help me get back to work?

A: The answer to your first question is complicated. The second question is a little easier. The law in Oregon requires an employer to reinstate an injured worker if the worker is either released to return to his or her regular work or another job which is “available and suitable.” That means if you can do your normal work, you must be reinstated. If you can’t do your regular work, and the employer does not have another, physically suitable job available, they are not required to create a permanent job within your physical limitations. You do have other options if you have suffered a work injury, however. The law requires Workers’ Compensation insurers to assist injured workers in returning to the workforce. Therefore, retraining, or Vocational Rehabilitation benefits may be available to help you. Check with an experienced attorney to understand your rights. If you believe you were unfairly terminated from your job, possibly relating to a work injury, you can also contact the Bureau of Labor and Industries for advice. Or, contact a legal professional today!

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