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The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act grants an injured worker the right to seek medical care prior to notifying the employer of the workplace injury or condition, even where the employer has a known employment policy regarding such notification, held an Illinois court. Accordingly, an employer’s action in terminating a worker who received medical care related to a work-related injury prior to notifying the employer could constitute a wrongful termination under the state’s retaliatory discharge statute [820 ILCS 305/4(h)]. The employer contended its advance notification policy did not interfere with the right to seek medical treatment because the policy expressly advised employees that they may seek medical care from their own choice of provider, and did not condition that choice to seek medical treatment on supervisor approval. The federal district court indicated that nowhere in the Illinois Act was there a suggestion that employers might impose minor, or even de minimis, burdens on the employee’s right to seek medical treatment.
Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.
LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.
See Stevenson v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134199 (Sept. 24, 2014) [2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134199 (Sept. 24, 2014)]
See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, §§ 94.01, 104.07 [94.01, 104.07]
Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.
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