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Can My Employer Lower My Pay After a Work Injury?


Because your job may be less demanding now and your workload lighter than what it used to be, your employer may also try to reduce your wage. Can they do that?

The primary role of workers’ compensation is to help employees stay afloat while recovering from a work injury. In some cases, the doctor may allow you to engage in certain types of work activities despite your injuries. There may be some restrictions, such as doing a less physically demanding job than your usual one or reducing the workload. 

Light duty is a way for employees to earn a living while recovering from a work injury.

However, because your job may be less demanding now and your workload lighter than what it used to be, your employer may also try to reduce your wage. Can they do that?

You Are Protected by Workers Compensation Law

Workers’ compensation law not only ensures that you will be covered in case of a work injury, but it also protects you from workplace retaliation. If your employer lowered your wages simply because you got hurt or sick on the job, then they may be breaking the law. You should speak with an experienced work injury attorney as soon as possible.

Your employer is generally required to pay your usual wage if you can still perform the essential tasks of your job. They are also required by law to make reasonable accommodations for your disability unless these changes may cause “undue hardship.” In other words, even if your workload is lighter than usual, if you are performing the essential take of your job, then your employer usually has to pay you the same wage. Failure to do so could be considered disability discrimination. 

When Your Employer Can Lower Your Pay

There are some circumstances under which your employer can temporarily lower your payments. If you are transferred to a job position that warrants a lower wage, then you can expect to see a decrease in your paycheck. However, your employer will generally have to reinstate you to your usual job and wage as soon as you are able to resume your usual work. 

Your employer could also pay you a lower wage, but then they may have to make up the difference in workers’ compensation payments. An experienced attorney can help make sure you are receiving the full amount of compensation you are legally entitled to,

How an Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Rights

Workers’ compensation is meant to help and protect employees who get hurt or sick because of their job. However, you should know understand your rights to ensure that you will get fair compensation. 

An experienced St. Louis workers comp attorney can educate you on your rights and obligations and guide you through the process of filing a worker’s comp claim. 

If you believe that your employer is retaliating by lowering your wage, then you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. Moreover, if your employer is pushing you to do work beyond the doctor’s recommendations, don’t hesitate to file a report and contact a lawyer. Injured workers are often the most vulnerable as they fear they might lose their jobs if they don’t comply with their employer’s requests. That is not the case. You are protected by workers’ compensation laws and an attorney can fight to get you justice. 

Updated: June 19, 2024
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