Can Your Employer Make You Use Vacation Time for Workers Comp?

Nobody likes to be told what they can do with their vacation time. You work hard to earn this time and you feel that you should be able to use it the way you want. Our Tampa workers comp lawyers agree. If you get hurt on the job, you shouldn’t be forced to use your accrued time.

Employers Can’t Force You to Use Vacation Time Instead of Workers Compensation

Many of the clients who come to see our Tampa workers comp lawyers assume they’ll be forced to use their accrued vacation time or sick days. Some of them are afraid to even ask their managers how this works.

Legally, your employer cannot force you to use PTO instead of paying you the workers’ comp benefits you deserve.  Since you won’t be paid for the first seven days you miss from work, it makes sense to use your vacation time. However, this should be your choice – not your employer’s.

Your Tampa Workers Comp Lawyer Will Make Sure You Aren’t Forced to Use This Time

If your manager or human resources department tells you that you must use your sick time or vacation time, let them know you plan to speak with your workers comp lawyer and that they’ll be in touch.

Once your employer learns that you have an attorney, there’s a good chance they’ll change their tune. They know they can’t take advantage of your workers compensation attorney.

talk to your workers comp attorney if you have to use PTO

You May Want to Use Your Vacation or Personal Time to Cover the First Week

Now, just because you can’t be forced to use your vacation time doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to. It may be a good idea to use PTO for the first seven days you miss work.

Unless you’re out of work for at least twenty-one days, you will not be paid for the first seven days. For example, if you only miss ten days from work, you will only be paid for three. It will be up to you as to whether you choose to use vacation time to cover the rest.

It’s important to remember that the twenty-one days are weekdays, not business days. Therefore, if you must miss seven days from work, that is one full week. In order to qualify to be paid for this first week, you must be out of work for at least three weeks.

Very few people can afford to go a week or two without pay. If you have vacation or personal time available, it may be a good idea to use it. However, this is something you should decide for yourself.

What if You’re Denied Vacation After Being on Workers’ Comp?

Every company has its own policy about how vacation and personal time can be used. If your company’s policy requires prior approval to use vacation time, then you have to follow the proper steps.

However, imagine you return to your job after recovering from a workplace injury only for your boss to tell you that you can’t take vacation time that was already approved. This is employment retaliation and it’s illegal.

If you are denied vacation time in a scenario like this, make sure you call your workers compensation attorney in Tampa right away.

Call a Seasoned Workers Compensation Attorney in Tampa

It’s a good idea to call an experienced Tampa workers comp lawyer as soon as possible if you’ve been hurt on the job. If you have an attorney working for you from day one, you’ll have a much better chance of having your claim approved. If your claim is denied, your lawyer can appeal the decision.

Your workers compensation attorney will also ensure that you aren’t forced into using vacation or sick time if you don’t want to. Contact our office at 954-833-5226 today and speak with one of our representatives to schedule your free, initial consultation.