Rehiring After a Workers’ Compensation Claim

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Rehiring After a Workers’ Compensation Claim: Understanding Your Options and the New Rules

Injured work­ers in Ore­gon ! You now have more con­trol over your reem­ploy­ment rights thanks to House Bill 3471, which changed the game regard­ing “no-rehire” pro­vi­sions in work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion settlements.

But before we break it down, let’s talk about rehire rights: The abil­i­ty to regain your job or a sim­i­lar posi­tion with your employ­er after a work-relat­ed injury. These rights are cru­cial for your finan­cial secu­ri­ty and career stability.

The Old Way (Not So Great):

Tra­di­tion­al­ly, set­tle­ment agree­ments often includ­ed “no-rehire” claus­es, essen­tial­ly bar­ring you from ever work­ing for your employ­er again. This could severe­ly lim­it your job oppor­tu­ni­ties, espe­cial­ly if you had spe­cial­ized skills or a long tenure with the company.

The New Way (Much Better):

HB 3471 pro­hibits employ­ers from mak­ing set­tle­ment offers con­tin­gent on accept­ing a no-rehire clause. You now have the free­dom to choose!

Here’s the Breakdown for Rehire After Injury:

Pros of includ­ing a no-rehire clause:

  • Larg­er set­tle­ment: Employ­ers might offer more mon­ey in exchange for agree­ing not to return.
  • Clo­sure: For some, a defin­i­tive end to the rela­tion­ship might be desired.

Cons of includ­ing a no-rehire clause:

  • Lim­it­ed future oppor­tu­ni­ties: You could miss out on pro­mo­tions, re-employ­ment, or return­ing to your old job if cir­cum­stances change.
  • Reduced earn­ing poten­tial: This could impact your long-term finan­cial stability.
  • Poten­tial dis­crim­i­na­tion: Agree­ing to no-rehire might raise con­cerns about unfair treat­ment in future applications.

Important Reminders:

  • You can­not be pres­sured into accept­ing a no-rehire clause. The offer must clear­ly state if set­tle­ment is con­di­tion­al on it.
  • You can nego­ti­ate: Dis­cuss set­tle­ment amounts with­out the no-rehire clause and see if it’s feasible.
  • Seek legal advice: An employ­ment attor­ney can explain your rights and guide you through the process.

So, should You Sign a No-Rehire Clause?

It depends entire­ly on your indi­vid­ual cir­cum­stances and pri­or­i­ties. Con­sid­er fac­tors like:

  • Sever­i­ty of your injury: Will it affect your abil­i­ty to per­form your pre­vi­ous job?
  • Future career plans: Do you see your­self stay­ing with the com­pa­ny long-term?
  • Finan­cial needs: Does the increased set­tle­ment out­weigh poten­tial future earnings?
  • Rela­tion­ship with employ­er: Do you feel com­fort­able return­ing after the incident?

Remem­ber, you have the right to choose. Don’t let pres­sure or mis­in­for­ma­tion sway your deci­sion. Weigh the pros and cons care­ful­ly, and seek pro­fes­sion­al guid­ance if needed.

Addi­tion­al Resources:

  • Ore­gon Depart­ment of Con­sumer and Business Ser­vices:
  • Nation­al Con­fer­ence of State Leg­is­la­tures (NCSL): This web­site tracks state-lev­el leg­is­la­tion and has a data­base on work­er’s com­pen­sa­tion laws. You can search by key­word or top­ic to see if oth­er states have intro­duced or passed sim­i­lar bills relat­ed to no-rehire provisions.
  • The Work­ers’ Com­pen­sa­tion Research Insti­tute (WCRI): This orga­ni­za­tion pub­lish­es research and reports on top­ics relat­ed to work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion, includ­ing leg­isla­tive trends. You can browse their pub­li­ca­tions or search for spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion on no-rehire provisions.

Empow­er your­self with knowl­edge and make informed choic­es about your rehire rights! You deserve a fair set­tle­ment and a future filled with opportunity.

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