Can My Employer Make Me Use Sick and Vacation Leave for Work Injuries?

Don’t take any vacation days for your recovery. You can avoid this practice by filing a claim for workers compensation right after your injury.

Workers compensation laws in Missouri only establish general guidelines for employers and companies to uphold. But, in many real-life situations, the injured workers can be faced with some rather unpleasant surprises.

Such is the case of employers that force their workers to take sick days or vacation leave when they’re injured on the job. If you are in this situation, please reach out to an experienced St. Louis workers compensation attorney for further assistance.

St Louis Workmens Comp Lawyer

What Does the Law Say?

Workers compensation laws in Missouri state that if a worker is injured on the job, or becomes sick because of their work activity, then the insurance carried by the employer must cover their treatment and lost wages.

However, Missouri law also makes no mention of vacation time or sick days. As such, employers are free to offer these as extra benefits for a job, and can also decide for themselves how to reinforce these rules.

If you have paid vacation or sick days, it is only because your employer chose to offer you these benefits, and not because the state says they have to include them. Because of this, Missouri compensation laws also have no provision of whether the employer is allowed not to impose sick or vacation days be taken at this time.

Why Would an Employer Do This?

If you are injured on the job, Missouri laws say the compensation also must cover any lost wages. However, if an employer makes you take paid vacation or sick days to recover, then we can’t talk about a lost wage anymore.

Because of that, injured workers can use these benefits just to ensure they get the treatment needed for their injuries. When they return to work and need leave, their days off will come out of their salaries.

What Options Are There?

You can avoid this practice by filing a claim for workers compensation. If the insurance company or the Missouri Department for Workers Compensation grant your claim, then the employer can no longer intervene to make you use your sick or vacation days.

Additionally, if you tell the employer of your injury and they tell you to take sick days, contact a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer for help. Employers and insurance companies are obligated to take all these claims and report them to the state, and failure to do so can be considered fraud.

What Should You Do?

Sometimes workers do not know their rights and end up paying for it. Injured workers in Missouri are entitled to workers compensation benefits, but they are also required to notify the employer and file the claim within 30 days from the accident.

If you are a worker injured at the job, don’t take any vacation days for your recovery. Contact a St. Louis workers compensation attorney and file a claim.

Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 for a free consultation.

Updated: March 20, 2020