Work Injury

If you have been hurt at work, or have an on the job injury, you can see one of our Salem or Keizer Chiropractors the same day.  We specialize in Auto & work Injuries and have over 35 years of combined experience helping and treating patients who have been hurt at work.

If you are hurt at work, immediately notify your supervisor or employer. Your employer cannot tell you which doctor to see. You have a right to see the doctor of your choice, including a Chiropractic Physician.  The work injury insurance should cover 100% of the treatment related to the work injury for your on the job injury.

If you cannot work because your were hurt at work, you must get written authorization from a doctor that you are unable to work because of your injury. The Chiropractic Doctors at First Choice Chiropractic can give you an aurthorization not to work if you are unable to work due to your injury.  We can also refer you to the many wonderful medical doctors that we work with if you need pain medication, and need continued treatment or care beyond 6 weeks from the date of the injury. We understand work injuries and have been helping people who have been hurt at work for over 25 years.

If you are unable to work due to the on the job injury, you are entitled to Temporary Disability Benefits.  These usually are paid until you are able to return to work.   The work injury insurance usually pays 70% of your gross weekly wages at the time of the injury up to a maximum that is governed by the State of Oregon.  Remember, you have to have a doctors note that states you are unable to work due to your work injury.

Here is some information about Oregon Worker's rights:  

Oregon provides certain rights to employees who are injured on the job. Most Oregon employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees because of such injuries. ORS 659A.040. In addition, many Oregon employers must return injured workers to their former positions when they are able to perform them. ORS 659A.043. Even more employers have an obligation to return employees to suitable positions when they are not able to perform their former jobs but can still perform some positions. ORS 659A.046

Question:   Does a person who was hurt at work have to actually file a workers´ compensation claim in order to be covered under the anti-discrimination provisions of the law?

Answer:  No. It is sufficient if a worker or an employee just talks about filing a claim or lets his supervisor or boss or employer know that he was hurt at work, or  informs the boss or employer of an on-the-job injury or the employer or boss is informed of the on-the-job injury by the employee or co-worker.

Question:  When a worker or employee returns to full duty after suffering an on-the-job or work injury,  is he required to return the employee or worker to the position held at the time that the injury same position?

Answer:  If  employee or company has 21 or more employees or people working for him or her, or company,  both at the time of injury and at the time of demand,  the employer or company must reinstate the injured worker to the former position if the worker is ABLE TO perform the required duties and has made a timely demand for the job.   That means that the person has been released by their doctor ("Attending Physician")  that they are able to do these duties, and these duties would not cause increased pain or harm.  "Timely demand" is defined as no later than seven calendar days from the date the worker (you) is notified by certified mail by the insurer or self-insured employer that the worker´s attending physician has released the worker (you) for employment.  Demand may be made by the injured worker, the injured worker´s attorney or the workers´ compensation insurance carrier.  Extenuating circumstances may, in very rare instances, extend the requirement for timely demand.

Question:  Can the employer (or boss) require medical evidence of the (worker) employee´s ability to return to the former position?

Answer:  Yes the employer or boss can require "medical evidence" for an employee or worker's ability to return to the former position. Although the attending physician´s approval is prima facie evidence, the employer may require, within a reasonable period of time and at the employer´s expense, further evidence of the worker´s physical ability to perform the job. The employer may also consult the worker´s physician.

NOTE: If the employee is also taking family medical leave, different rules may apply for contacting the physician. Call Technical Assistance at (971) 673-0824 for more information.

Question:  What if the employee´s former job no longer exists?

Answer:  If the former position has been eliminated for bona fide business reasons, the employer or boss does not have to create a job or resurrect the old job but must offer the worker a suitable vacant job (reemployment).

Question:  What does "suitable" mean?

Answer:  A suitable position is one that is substantially similar to the former position in compensation, duties, skills, location, duration (full or part-time, temporary or permanent) and shift.

NOTE: Compensation means the same that you would pay others of the same education, skill and seniority to do that job. Location means in Oregon and within a reasonable commuting distance, unless the former job site is no longer in operation, the nature of the employer´s business routinely involves the transfer of employees, or the employer and employee agree on a job outside of Oregon.

Question:  What if the worker is able to return to work, but is unable to perform the former duties?

Answer:  As long as the employer or boss employ six or more persons, the employer or boss has an obligation to reemploy the worker to the most suitable vacant position available.

NOTE: Under state and federal discrimination statutes, the employer may also have an obligation to reasonably accommodate a worker if disabled. Call Technical Assistance for more information at (971) 673-0824.

Q. Are there any situations in which the obligation to reinstate or reemploy an injured worker would not apply?

A. Reemployment and reinstatement rights are subject to the provisions of a valid collective bargaining agreement. For instance, a collective bargaining agreement may provide that workers lose seniority after a period of time away from work, which could affect the worker´s right to return to a particular job. However, the basic right to reemployment or reinstatement always applies.

Question:  What about the worker or employee who is partially released and then recovers to the point where he or she can perform their regular duties?

Answer:  If the request for reinstatement to the former job is made within three years of the original injury, the employer or boss is still obligated to return the worker or employee to the original job, even if that job is currently being performed by someone else.

Question:  Does an injured worker ever lose reinstatement/ reemployment rights?

Answer:  A worker or employee loses the right to reinstatement/re-employment if any of the following situations occurs:

  • The worker or employee is determined to be medically stationary and not physically able to return to the former position (for loss of reinstatement rights) or to any position (for loss of reemployment rights)
  • The worker is eligible for and participates in vocational assistance under ORS 656.340.
  • The worker accepts suitable employment with another employer after becoming medically stationary.
  • The worker refuses a bona fide offer of suitable light duty or modified employment from the employer before becoming medically stationary.
  • Demand for reinstatement is not made by the worker within seven days from the date the worker is notified by the insurer or self-insured employer by certified mail that the worker´s attending physician has released the worker to the former position (for loss of reinstatement rights) or for reemployment (for loss of reemployment rights).
  • Three years have elapsed since the date of the worker´s original injury.
  • The employer discharges the worker for reasons not connected with the injury and for which other employees or workers are or would be discharged.
  • The worker or employee clearly abandons future employment with the employer.
  • The worker or employee does not report to work as specified in the employer´s suitable job offer.

Question:  May an employer or boss discipline an employee or woker who has excessive absences due to an on-the-job injury?

Answer:   No an employer or boss cannot discipline an employee or worker who has excessive absences due to a work injury.  As long as the workers´ compensation claim is compensable, the employer may not discipline the employee for any absences that are related to that claim.

Question:  If an employee´s  or worker's injury requires the employee to be off work for a period of time, must the boss or employer continue to pay the employee´s group health insurance benefits?

Answer:  If the employee is employed by the State of Oregon, the state must continue to pay the employee´s group health benefits. In all other cases, the employer or boss must pay the benefits if that is what the employer or boss does for other employees. In no instance may an employer provide fewer benefits for an injured worker than for other similarly situated employees.

NOTE: If the employee is also taking family leave, different requirements may apply for continuing health insurance. Call Technical Assistance for further information, Bearu of Labor & Industry:  971-673-0824.

Question:  If an employer has a  policy which provides that anybody who is gone from work for 30 days or more is automatically terminated. Can the employer or boss terminate an injured worker  or injured employee under this policy?

Answer:  The employer may terminate the injured worker or employee,  but the worker still retains reinstatement/reemployment rights.