CAN I GET FIRED???

  1. I found out that I have several bulging discs and Dr. has given me lifting restrictions of less than 20 pounds until healed. I know that if I let work know about the restriction, they will not allow me to work until I am 100% cleared for duty. There is no light duty assignment available unless the injury was OTJ, so I'll be stuck at home. Can I be fired? I know that I have short term disability coverage through the hospital, but if I can be fired, then it will be useless and I could lose my medical benefits to boot. It would be almost worth risking herniation so that I don't lose everything. These are terrible times to be out of work, but I don't want to risk permanent damage either. Anyone know anything about this? I have to make some quick decisions about whether or not to let the bosses know about the lifting restrictions. All advice is greatly appreciated!!!
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    About Poopsie Gigglebuns

    Joined: Feb '08; Posts: 18; Likes: 3

    19 Comments

  3. by   lilgecko
    I am not sure what dept you work in, but you do need to let them know. Concealing that type of injury not only puts yourself at risk for further complications, but also your patient (transfers.. etc). Most facilities do understand injuries will happen.
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    get long term disability. get it now.
  5. by   April, RN
    What kind of facility do you work in? Can you ask for a transfer to another department where there is no heavy lifting? For example, doing some kind of office nursing for a bit?
  6. by   wonderbee
    Why would they fire you? That's what ST disability is for. The minute you present your restrictions you will not be able to work. Be prepared for that. Your management would appreciate a phone call in advance to let them know so they can staff adequately. They will be irritated if you wait. I know from experience.

    It would be foolish to work like that when ST disability is an option. You could ruin your back for life and that's the ballgame.
  7. by   roser13
    "get long term disability. get it now"

    ltd purchased at this point would be useless for the poster's current problem. look at it this way....if your house is already on fire, you can't exactly go out and purchase homeowner's insurance with fire protection.

    you have job protection under the family medical leave act, provided that your employer has at least 50 employees. you are entitled to up to 12 weeks' unpaid leave with your position (or a similar position) available to you on your return. but you must invoke fmla....you must state to your supervisor in writing that you are requesting fmla. once you request it, you are covered.
  8. by   fuzzywuzzy
    In the long term it would be worse if you continued to work, wrecked your back even more, and they found out you knowingly put yourself at risk like that.
  9. by   Neveranurseagain
    Is your doc 100% sure that it is not a workman comp? Being a nurse involves years of lifting, moving pts, bending and squatting that can slowly build up to an injury, even though you can can't trace it back to one particular event. I would get a second opinion on that.

    Apply for FMLA-but you have to of worked for your emplyer for a year and have some many hours in. But it only protects you for 90 days, then they can fire you.

    Good luck and I hope you heal fast.
  10. by   BabyLady
    Quote from lilgecko
    I am not sure what dept you work in, but you do need to let them know. Concealing that type of injury not only puts yourself at risk for further complications, but also your patient (transfers.. etc). Most facilities do understand injuries will happen.
    Not only that, if you are seriously injured at work, you will not be eligible for workman's comp because the hospital can make the argument that you aggrevated your own condition and put yourself at risk by not informing them.
  11. by   roser13
    "but it only protects you for 90 days, then they can fire you."

    fmla protects you for up to 12 weeks; 16 in some cases with special circumstances.
  12. by   swirlygirl
    This exact same thing happened to me with my first pregnancy. I had a low placenta and had a lifting restriction over 5 pounds. I was off for about 9 months. For the first 12 weeks, I was covered by FMLA and then my nurse manager approved 2 subsequent personal 12 week leaves which included my maternity leave. You need to let them know! If your leave is covered under short term disability or FMLA, they cannot fire you. Sorry that you have to go through this! Good luck!
  13. by   roser13
    i don't mean to beat a dead horse here, but there seems to be alot of misconception regarding std/ltd/fmla.

    fmla must be invoked in order for you to be covered by its protections. filing for std will not protect your job. an employee can be fired while out on std or ltd if they have not applied for fmla. if you choose to go the std route, invoke fmla prior to filing a disability claim.
  14. by   diane227
    They can terminate you. This I assume is not an OJI so you are not covered under workers comp. What you need to do immediately is apply for FMLA. You will have to have been employed in this facility for at least a year in order to qualify. FMLA will help save your job although it may not be the same job you have now. You can also reapply for FMLA again but I don't know the law well enough to know how many times you can do this. You can use your vacation and sick time while on FMLA but after you run out of benefit hours, you will not get paid. FMLA does not provide for any salary when you are not able to work.
    In addition, I STRONGLY suggest that you start now to try to find a job in nursing that will not require you to have strong lifting ability.
    Where specifically is your disk problem? As I have this issue myself, I am just wondering what treatment options you have been given and is anything working for you.

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