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Former FedEx Employee Exercises Rights Under Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, Proves Retaliatory Discharge

December 18th, 2014 at 11:57 am

Illinois workers compensation act, Cook County workmans compensation lawyerA majority of companies have a policy in place referencing how to report workplace injuries. In a recent case of a former FedEx employee, the plaintiff disputed his company violated his rights under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA) by terminating him.

FedEx company policy, in this case, stated that an employee who had been injured on the job must immediately report workplace injuries despite the severity of the injury and attempt to provide advance notice to management before seeking medical treatment.

The policy further stated that If advance notification was not presented before seeking medical care for a work-related injury, the employee could be subject to termination. However, according to the Illinois WCA, employee rights to seek medical attention become a legal factor. The Illinois statute states:

“It shall be unlawful for any employer, individually or through any insurance company or service or adjustment company, to discharge or to threaten to discharge, or to refuse to rehire or recall to active service in a suitable capacity an employee because of the exercise of his or her rights or remedies granted to him or her by this Act.”

Pursuant to this act, employers are not allowed to impose an advance notification requirement on an employee who requires work-related medical treatment. It maintains an employee’s rights to seek medical care without interference from an employer.

Facts of the case stated that the plaintiff suffered from a sore back while working at FedEx. The company filed an injury report and made accommodations to the employee by placing him on light duty. After five days, the plaintiff chose to seek medical treatment for his back.

The plaintiff did not provide advance notice to FedEx for treatment and returned to work with a physician assistant’s clearance to work. During his shift, the plaintiff presented the note to FedEx notifying of his medical treatment. Citing its company policy of required advanced notice, FedEx terminated the plaintiff’s employment.

Under the rights guaranteed by WCA, the court found in favor of the plaintiff and held that his claim for retaliatory discharge was established as a matter of law.

If you or someone you know is considering filing for workers’ compensation in Illinois, contact a Cook County workers’ compensation attorney today. You deserve to have your legal rights protected.

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