Business Employee Worker’s Compensation Layoff
Question: Should a Michigan Business layoff an employee while off and receiving worker’s compensation benefits?
I have an employee not working due to an injury and receiving worker’s compensation. The employee’s job is no longer needed at the business. Our business in the middle of a reduction in force. Should I layoff the employee now, while receiving worker’s compensation or advise the employee of the layoff after being released for work by his doctor?
Answer: Your question is whether to lay off your employee while the employee is not working due to an injury and is receiving workers compensation benefits or wait until released for work? As the employer, legally you could notify the employee that the employee is being laid off due to the reduction in force at this time while not working due to an injury and receiving worker’s comp benefits. However, you may want to to wait until the employee is released for work by the doctor. Because, if you advise the employee of the layoff now, then it could be argued that the employee was laid off in retaliation for filing the worker’s compensation claim. Also, if you laid off the employee while on off work due to the injury, then the probability increases that the injury that led to the worker’s compensation payments might linger much longer because the employee has lost the motivation to be released for work.