Can I sue my employer for making me continue to work after being injured on the job?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue my employer for making me continue to work after being injured on the job?

I unload 18 wheeler’s and had my ankle crushed between a motorized pallet jack and a pallet

by another employee. It isn’t broken but definitely hurt. We filed an incident report and passed a drug screen. My employer later told me that if I didnn’t unload another truck that I would be fired. Can I sue?

Asked on June 26, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Is your job to unload trucks? If so, then you have to do one of the following:
1) do your job--that is, keep unloading trucks, etc.;
2) use any paid time off (PTO) you have, like sick days you earned or accrued, to be absent from work while you heal/recover; and/or 
3) if your employer is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (which means it has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius) and you are eligible for it (e.g. worked there at least a year; worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months), then you can use FMLA leave to be absent from work while you recover.
Otherwise, there is no inherent right to miss work, to not work, or to not do the core (important) functions or aspects of your job, even if you are injured--you can terminated for not doing your job. So either use PTO or FMLA leave, if you have the former or are eligible for the latter, or else do your job as required by your employer; otherwise, you may be terminated.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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