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AttorneyTom
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I fell down at work and broke my arm. I was walking into the

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I fell down at work and broke my arm. I was walking into the womens bathroom and into the stall when I slipped on the floor. The floor was very slippery from what appeared to be the air deoderizer, (I tested the spray when I returned to work). I was off work for 2.5 days. I did not pay for medical expenses. I have very limited PTO and I have to use it for my time off. This is interfering with my vacation that was planned for July. I am upset about a couple of things. First, the spray is still there, no one seems concerned even though our maintenance man said he almost fell as well. Second, I'm dissapointed that my employer is using my earned vacation/sick time to cover this, when there are the occasional weekend and night work for events that is required of me that I don't get paid for (I am salary paid and work in North Dakota) I this right? Is there anything I can do.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 5 years ago.
Hello. Thank you for coming to JustAnswer. I am Thoreau and I am sending this answer to you only a few minutes after you asked your question.
I'm very sorry to hear about your injury. If you were injured at work, you may want to apply for worker's compensation. You can reach the North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance here: http://www.workforcesafety.com/. If an employer is maintaining dangerous conditions in the workplace, that can provide a basis for a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and OSHA can investigate the matter. As for time off, an employer can require an employee to use vacation time for medical leave purposes unless there is a contract or policy to the contrary. However, an employee could be still entitled to compensation for lost work, medical expenses, etc. under worker's compensation. Ultimately, for a serious injury, an employee can be entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. FMLA leave can be taken all at once or intermittently when sporadic leave is medically necessary. The FMLA applies to employers with 50+ employees within 75 miles of the workplace and employees who ahve worked for the employee for at least a year and a total of 1250 hours.
I'm sorry to hear about your injury and I hope that you recover fully very soon. Please remember that my job here is to provide accurate information about the law. Providing bad news is the hardest part of doing my job but it's a big part of doing my job well. If you feel that the law is wrong or unfair, I'd strongly encourage you to contact your legislators, as they are the only ones who can change it.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
There are no charges to me for the medical treatment, I just don't want to use my vacation time for this, cant this go under workers comp? And I was only off 2.5 days, and FMLA is 3 or more days.
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your message. You could be entitled to recover unpaid lost wages or other compensation for your injury under worker's compensation, preventing the need for using vacation time to obtain pay. However, worker's compensation doesn't change the fact that an employer can require an employee to use vacation time for medical absences unless there's a contract or policy that prevents the employer from doing so. If it can be shown that the employer only did that in retaliation for a worker's compensation claim or to prevent one from being filed, that could provide a basis for a lawsuit, as employers cannot retaliate against employees based on worker's compensation issues. I realize that this isn't fair but please keep in mind that my job here is to provide accurate information about the law. Providing bad news is the hardest part of doing my job but it's a big part of doing my job well. If you feel that the law is wrong or unfair, I'd strongly encourage you to contact your legislators, as they are the only ones who can change it.
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