I said to a recent caller that, “Your employer is not the boss of you,” and they were a little perplexed. His response was, “Yes he is, the owner of the company is my boss, and he makes the schedule.”

This conversation was about his employer telling him to ignore his doctor’s restrictions following a work accident that resulted in a back injury. Basically the company was really short staffed and the owner/boss wanted him to come in and help out. He wanted this even though it risked injuring this worker much more severely.

When I say they aren’t the boss of you, I mean they don’t get to override your doctor’s opinion or put your health and safety in jeopardy. You have a legal right to tell them to pound sand. I of course recommend you do that politely, but if you were to get fired for refusing to return to work after a work accident, they’d have to pay you for all of your time off and you’d likely have a wrongful termination lawsuit.

We’ve seen an uptick in these situations happening. It’s actually more common in central and southern Illinois, but happens in the Chicago area too. One of the employers acted like he had built a company and that he never took a day off when in reality he had just inherited a business started by a grandparent. I hate those types of guys and love being a part of bringing cases against them. They act like they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps when in reality they got every break in life.

The Illinois workers compensation laws are crystal clear. If your doctor says you can’t work at all, you don’t work. If your doctor gives you restrictions, if your employer can’t accommodate them, you don’t work. If they can, you don’t do work beyond those restrictions.

But in no case should your employer ever tell you that you should just blow off your doctor, “tough it out” or do anything else that is against what your doctor says.

We know that it can be hard to deal with this type of pressure. An experienced Illinois work comp lawyer who cares can protect you in these situations. If you would like a free consultation with an attorney, we help everywhere in Illinois with our state wide network of lawyers. Contact us any time.