There are Federal Laws that Protect Employees Who Suffer Workplace Injuries

No matter what you do for a living, on-the-job injuries can happen. That’s true whether you work in day care, health care, construction, in a warehouse, or at an airport. Massachusetts, like most other states, requires almost every employer to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. If you have suffered an injury at work or an occupational illness, workers’ comp provides benefits to cover medical expenses and a percentage of wages lost while you are unable to work. Workers’ compensation typically provides weekly 75 percent of your weekly total temporary benefits, assuming you have “temporary partial incapacity” or 60 percent for “temporary total incapacity.”

There are circumstances in which an injury causes an impairment significant enough to be considered a disability, or where circumstances require an extended leave. That is where federal laws offer important employee protections.

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The US Department of Labor states that a worker is entitled to family medical leave when there is “a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her job.” This includes an employee who:

  • Is unable to work at all
  • Is unable to perform any one of the essential functions of his or her position
  • Must be absent from work to receive medical treatment for a serious health condition and is therefore unable to perform the essential functions of the position during the absence for treatment

While the leave is unpaid, it offers job protection and requires an employer to continue health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions that would be available to the employee were he or she actively working.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Since its inception in 1990, this act has provided important civil rights for those who have disabilities. Under the ADA, Massachusetts’ employers with six or more employees must provide “reasonable accommodations” to employees, which include:

  • Modifying work schedules
  • Adjusting work policies
  • Modifying existing or providing appropriate equipment
  • Creating an accessible workspace
  • Restructuring the job
  • Offering another position

A Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer can help you with your concerns

Deciding the best course of action for you and your family following a work-related injury or illness is often confusing. Consulting a Beverly workers’ comp attorney with experience in both federal and Massachusetts employment laws can help protect your rights and interests. Contact the office of Chisholm Law LLC online or call us at (978) 703-0700 today.

About the Author: Eric Chisholm
J. Eric Chisholm practices in the areas of Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability. He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association & a frequent lecturer on the topic of workers' compensation law at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education seminars.