One strange twist in Illinois workers’ compensation law right now is that marijuana is legal, but you still get drug tested for it if you are hurt on the job. And if you test positive, not only could your claim be denied (although in most cases we can still win for you), you could also get fired.
I saw this recently with an injured hospital worker who got hurt on the job, tested positive for marijuana and was told that she had 24 hours to decide if she wanted to resign or be fired.
While every career has its own unique traits that could influence this decision, when it comes to thinking about work comp in Illinois, what you should do is obvious. Never resign if you have a job injury.
If you do and end up going off work due to your injury, you will not get TTD benefits unless you are taken completely off work. On the other hand, if you have any physical restrictions and they terminate you, you will get paid until you either return to work for someone else or no longer have any physical restrictions.
Employers and insurance companies can be very sneaky about this. They’ll say something like, “We like you, but we have to let you go. If you want to resign that’s ok with us so you don’t have to tell future employers you got fired.” Them saying that is often a trick to get you to do what is best for them.
Not only could quitting cost you weekly pay, it could end up reducing your eventual settlement by hundreds of thousands of dollars if your injury is very serious. With this recent hospital worker who called me, she was about to have a very serious surgery. If she doesn’t make a great recovery ten quitting would be financially devastating.
Bottom line is we tell almost everyone not to resign and you definitely shouldn’t do so without speaking to a lawyer first so you can make an educated decision. If you want to get our thoughts on what to do, you can contact us for free any time.