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DO I NEED TO TELL MY EMPLOYER IF I’VE BEEN INJURED OUTSIDE OF WORK?

Feb 3 2017

There’s no straight yes or no answer here because there are several factors that must be taken into consideration. If your injuries won’t affect your ability to do your job, you’re under no legal obligation to disclose anything. If, however, your injuries will affect your regular duties or you’ll need time off work, you should immediately advise your supervisor or HR department and, if requested, make arrangements to provide him or her with a doctor’s note. If a complicated medical history comes into play, they may also ask you for a more detailed medical report.

If you’ve been injured but you’d like to remain working as much as your injuries will allow, your employer is legally required to accommodate you as much as reasonably possible. This will depend on individual circumstances for both of you and this is often where communication and understanding tends to break down. If you have been injured outside of work, your employer may ask you if those injuries will place limitations on your ability to perform your required tasks. While there are some restrictions on what exactly an employer can ask, as a general rule, this is the employer’s way of determining what kinds of accommodations it may need to make for you. For example, you may need time off for medical appointments, your work station might have to be reconfigured, or another person may have to be brought in to help alleviate your workload.

There are a couple of things you should be aware of if you do take time off work. While there is no set time limit for this, there are some generally-accepted industry standards that most employers follow. If, for example, it’s become obvious that you will not be able to return to your previous position within a reasonable amount of time, your employer is within its legal right to move forward accordingly.

Keep in mind that if you elect to not inform your employer that you’ve been injured outside of work, you run the risk of being perceived as being unable to perform your required duties, which could negatively impact your position with the company either through discipline or outright dismissal. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to make your employer aware of any health restrictions you have as a result of injuries that you’ve received.

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