Q: Hi, Employment Law, Workers Compensation
Employee slipped on parking lot outside working premises while getting ready to come in for work. Filed Workers Compensation, they accepted stating that in Colorado even if it didn't happen inside the premises it's still workers comp. That happened in November. Insurance asked us to take her back for part time modified work duties (per doctors written recommendations) with less hours and pay. It was a concern from before with her negative attitude, gossiping issues and we orally told her a week ago what are the expectations. And yet, she went to coworkers and told them that she has a lawyer and basically she knows management will be informed about it. So, she uses that tactic to threaten and get her way at work and spoil good morale for employees What are our options? No one likes her at work. When is the appropriate time by law after injury happened to terminate employee? We also want to give her Warning to prepare but we doubt it will help.
A: There are a lot of variables here, so I recommend that you/employer retain an attorney for advice along the way. This will be a process, but you will be able to correct any problems with a bad employee. First, there is no strict limit when an employee can be terminated (but the closer a termination occurs from injury claim the greater the chance that a discrimination claim will occur). Mostly the goal should be to follow every aspect of the employment/insurance agreement (allowing her to work, providing reasonable accommodations, etc.), while creating a case file for all the bad acts of the employee. Warning are good things (if they don't work, all the better because it improves your case for termination). Key here is to as the employer look reasonable and allow the employee to become more and more unreasonable. Again, contact an attorney to provide specific guidance.
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