IF YOU NEED TO SEEK NEW EMPLOYMENT
Chapter 8 described the vocational rehabilitation process. As discussed, for the most part injured workers are more successfully placed in jobs that are close to their former line of work. Often individuals are actually capable of performing the same type of work as before their injury, but for various reasons the former jobs are unavailable. While it is illegal for a company to fire someone or lay that person off just for filing a workers' compensation claim, the company is not necessarily obligated to keep the job open indefinitely.
This means that even though the worker may be able to perform the job, there may not be a position available. In addition, at times union rules in unionized companies require individuals to go through the bidding process as if they were new employees. There also may not be a job available that the worker can perform, when he or she is capable of returning.
In these situations it is in the returning employees' long-term best interest to do everything within their power to find jobs as soon as they are able. This chapter will explore the job-seeking process and outline practical steps for those who are faced with this situation.