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Giving two-week notice to your job is a professional courtesy that you don’t have to do. People do it because they don’t want to leave their company and co-workers hanging, to not create any bad will and because they have pride in the work they’ve done and want to make sure everything is in order. Other people do it because they think they have to.
Whatever your reason, giving notice doesn’t stop you from being an employee or having rights including those under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. So to answer the question of this post which was that of a caller to my office, yes you can still file for workers’ compensation benefits even after you’ve given your two-week notice.
What’s crazy, is the woman who called me actually gave her employer four weeks’ notice because she was in the middle of a project and didn’t want to have it get messed up for her employer or their customer. How did the employer repay her loyalty? They lied and said that once you give notice, you are no longer eligible for work comp. That is just ridiculous.
In this case, her arm got broken when she fell on a wet floor and she’s going to need surgery. 100% of her medical bills will be paid for by the workers compensation insurance. While she’s fully authorized off of work by her doctor, she will also continue to get paid. When her doctor releases her with restrictions, if the employer can show they would have accommodated her had she not quit, her entitlement to off-work benefits will end. When she’s all better she will be entitled to a settlement.
I hear stories of these kinds of employer lies told all the time. Sometimes they say you can’t get work comp if you are on probation or a part-time worker. Those are lies too. Every employee is covered from the first minute they start working until they leave for the very last time and for every day in between. You still have to prove that your injuries come from the job, but assuming you can, you are entitled to the full benefits under the law no matter when the accident happened.
On top of all of this, you don’t have to formally file for workers’ compensation while you are still employed to be eligible for it. As long as the employer had notice within 45 days of your accident, you have up to three years from the injury date to file your case. So in the case of my caller, had she called me a few months after her last day because bills weren’t getting paid or she wasn’t healing well, we’d still be able to help her since her fall was witnessed by her boss so clearly, they have notice.
In general, this comes down to the fact that some employers and most insurance companies play games. Don’t take legal advice from them and don’t make decisions based on what they tell you the law is. If you want to know what it really is, you can contact us any time for a free consultation. This will allow you to make an informed decision.