Hurt at Work and Can’t Do Your Old Job? What Now?
It stinks getting hurt at work. Particularly if you love your job. Sometimes your injuries are so severe that you can’t return to the same job. Ever wonder what happens now?
Felix worked in the shipping and receiving department of a local manufacturing company. Unfortunately, he suffered a severe back injury when he lifted some heavy boxes. He was out of work for several months. Felix first underwent physical therapy, followed by back surgery. After the back surgery, Felix had more physical therapy.
There was no question that Felix was considered a reliable employee. In his five years with the company, he missed one day. The doctor put weight restrictions on Felix’s work duties. They would not allow Felix to continue with his prior position.
The employer would have been within its rights to terminate Felix’s employment. After all, they weren’t firing him in retaliation. Instead, they valued Felix as a worker. They wanted to help him. Learn what this company did and what other employees have the ability to do in similar situations.
Retraining May be Available through the State of New Jersey
Let’s be clear. New Jersey does not require employees to retrain employees for other positions within their companies. Under workers’ compensation laws, their obligations are limited to authorized medical treatment, partial reimbursement of lost wages, and consideration of a portion of permanent disability.
That’s not to say that some employers won’t attempt to replace their employees. They may do so with internal programs. In the case of Felix, he was brought into the office and trained in various customer service functions.
Other disabled workers may find assistance from the New Jersey Department of Labor, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Their stated goal is to help people with disabilities keep their job or find new ones. The services offered include the following:
- Employee Guidance – Pointing the employee in to right direction towards perspective employment
- Placement Services – The State has contacts that may assist in job placement
- Resume Writing and Interview Assistance
- Skills Training – Referrals that may help for a change in career
- Physical and Emotional Help – The transition is difficult and this agency is there to assist those who feel in limbo because they cannot return to prior employment.
At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we have represented a number of disabled workers. We recognize this devastation on both an emotional and physical level. Please contact us to schedule an appointment if you have a workplace injury.