If I was injured and can’t use my hand for 4 weeks, can my employer make me take this time off without getting paid?

UPDATED: Mar 7, 2012

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If I was injured and can’t use my hand for 4 weeks, can my employer make me take this time off without getting paid?

I was robbed onn my way home from work and hurt my hand.

Asked on March 7, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The law does not require an employer to employ or pay an employee who is not, or is not capable of, working. If the hand injury either prohibits you from doing your job--or makes you much less productive; or possibly poses a liability risk to the company (for example, your job could exacerbate the condition, exposing the company to worker's compensation or a lawsuit)--then the employer is free to furlough or suspend you without pay until you are able to work. Indeed, in many situations an employer could terminate an employee who could not work due to an injury, if that employee was not eligible for and did not take unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

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