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The Flint Journal “Ask the Attorney”

By Attorneys at MacDonald & MacDonald PLLC

Q. I injured my shoulder at work three months ago and have been working on light duty. Last week, I was late for work because of my physical therapy and my employer terminated me for tardiness. The workers’ comp carrier has now refused to pay me benefits for lost wages. What can I do? (March 2013)

A. Michigan Republicans in the state legislature recently changed workers’ compensation law for persons injured after December 19, 2011 to provide that if an injured worker is discharged ‘for fault’ following a work injury, wage loss benefits are forfeited. The Michigan Supreme Court has previously ruled that such a forfeiture of benefits is unconstitutional. The courts need to rule on and interpret this new amendment. It is obviously not your ‘fault’ that you needed therapy. You may have a lawsuit for wrongful discharge for a violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act and for retaliatory discharge, especially if your employer treated you differently from other workers. You should file for unemployment benefits and contact our office to assist you securing the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.

–Attorney Robert J. MacDonald