In some cases, change can be a positive thing. On the other hand, change can create uncertainty and anxiety. With this thought in mind, it's pretty clear that job loss would fall into the latter category. Without a regular income, there is no guarantee that a person will be able to make ends meet for themselves or loved ones.
A recently released study depicts the effect of potential job loss under difficult circumstances. The Workers Compensation Research Institute compiled data and determined that injured employees who are worried about losing their jobs face lengthier recovery periods. Of course, these concerns have the potential to make the situation even more challenging.
The study, which included a survey of 3,200 injured workers in several states, found that people who were worried about losing their jobs faced an additional four weeks of recovery on average. Of course, these results were reached based on comparisons with employees who didn't harbor anxiety for this reason.
On a related note, at least one in five of the injured workers who feared being terminated experienced difficulty obtaining the services and benefits due to them. Without critical post-injury support, anxiety may be a natural troubling reaction.
Of course, it's worth asking: Can an injured employee be terminated while out on leave? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer, but a look at the Family and Medical Leave Act might provide some guidance. Employees are guaranteed at least 12 weeks of job protection while out on medical leave, based on the federal law. After that period passes, the situation may not be as clear cut.
Given these concerns, it may be worthwhile to explore what options injured workers have to guard against uncertainty. We will discuss this topic in our next blog post.