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Can they fire me if I hurt my back? Again...

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  • Aug 4th, 2008 10:14 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 25, 2006
3888 posts
188 upvotes

Can they fire me if I hurt my back? Again...

Today, i told my work manager that i hurt my back on the job. The history of my back was that 2 weeks before the interview for this job, it did hurt. One week before the interview, my back was taken good care of and i thought it was resolved. Its been 1 week and 4 days of work until i did some lifting that triggered my back pain.

Today, they sent to the nurses office to see what they're going to do with me. I told them, it only hurts a bit, but they insisted of me to give them a doctors note that states myself being able to work again. This afternoon, i retrieved this note and will be going in tomorrow to give it in.

Thing is, my position is a summer student position in the maintenance department that limited 2 summer students, one being myself. The job does require some lifting over 30-40lbs, and having limited spots in the factory, i wonder what they're going to do with me.

If anyone has any insights of this particular scenario, please feel free to comment.

Thanks
34 replies
Deal Addict
Aug 12, 2004
3564 posts
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They can't fire you if you hurt your back, but they can fire you for no reason specified, especially if you are on probation. The nurse and check up is to cover their hides in case you decide to sue them.
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Nov 27, 2006
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1xTiMeR wrote:
Jul 31st, 2008 7:15 pm
Today, i told my work manager that i hurt my back on the job. The history of my back was that 2 weeks before the interview for this job, it did hurt. One week before the interview, my back was taken good care of and i thought it was resolved. Its been 1 week and 4 days of work until i did some lifting that triggered my back pain.

Today, they sent to the nurses office to see what they're going to do with me. I told them, it only hurts a bit, but they insisted of me to give them a doctors note that states myself being able to work again. This afternoon, i retrieved this note and will be going in tomorrow to give it in.

Thing is, my position is a summer student position in the maintenance department that limited 2 summer students, one being myself. The job does require some lifting over 30-40lbs, and having limited spots in the factory, i wonder what they're going to do with me.

If anyone has any insights of this particular scenario, please feel free to comment.

Thanks
Is there a requirement in writing or in the interview that you will be required to lift 30-40lbs? If so, you yourself said you had a hurt back prior to being hired for the job. This may affect your ability to do your job, and as such, I think they would have the right to terminate your employment, IF and only IF they find out that you had prior back problems that were not stated at time of interview AND if it hampers your ability to perform your job. Although I'm not a HR specialist that would be my take.
[OP]
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Apr 25, 2006
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Kranberry wrote:
Jul 31st, 2008 7:41 pm
Is there a requirement in writing or in the interview that you will be required to lift 30-40lbs? If so, you yourself said you had a hurt back prior to being hired for the job. This may affect your ability to do your job, and as such, I think they would have the right to terminate your employment, IF and only IF they find out that you had prior back problems that were not stated at time of interview AND if it hampers your ability to perform your job. Although I'm not a HR specialist that would be my take.
Thanks for the advices. At the interview, they asked if i could lift 23kg (about 50 pounds) and i said yes, only because i thought my back had healed. Also, I did not give any hints or notice of my back problem at the interview, only because of my disadvantage over other people.
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Nov 27, 2006
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1xTiMeR wrote:
Jul 31st, 2008 7:53 pm
Thanks for the advices. At the interview, they asked if i could lift 23kg (about 50 pounds) and i said yes, only because i thought my back had healed.
Yes, but asking if you can lift 50 lbs and requiring it as part of the job requirements are 2 different things. If you are working in a shipping dept for example, it is a requirement. If you are IT, you may have to lift the occasional PC, but lifting heavy things is not a requirement. Such as a server, but you can buy install services from the vendor....
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Mar 15, 2007
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Milton
Anyone can be fired with no explanation for 3 months from their start date of employment. If I was your employer you'd be gone.
Sr. Member
Jul 11, 2008
760 posts
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Toronto
It comes down to whether you lifting is a main part of your job (which I assume it is) and if you can do it with a bad back. If you cannot lift, then your Employer also has a duty to accomodate (within reason), so they can perhaps put you at a desk job for a week or so until your back heals up. If accomodations cannot be made despite best attempts, then they can lay you off.


Your Employer cannot force you to lift with a bad back (can be a health and safety concern since you may be endangering yourself; depends on how heavy the object you are lifting will be. I do not think minor tweaks count).

As you are probably on probation, your Employer can fire you for any reason without cause. If you were injured while performing duties on the job, it will be a lot harder to fire you (can be a bad-faith dismissal) and you can get Workers Comp for time off work. Since you injured yourself prior to employment though, you can still argue you got fired because of disability reasons and sue (or at least try to).. I am not an Employment lawyer so this is really IMO
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Mar 15, 2007
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nhui06 wrote:
Jul 31st, 2008 8:40 pm
If you were injured while performing duties on the job, it will be a lot harder to fire you (can be a bad-faith dismissal) and you can get Workers Comp for time off work. Since you injured yourself prior to employment though, you can still argue you got fired because of disability reasons and sue (or at least try to).. I am not an Employment lawyer so this is really IMO
You cannot sure an employer that has gov't insurance such as WSIB in Ont (which 99% do) companies that have this insurance are protected from injury & death lawsuits, the only way possible to sue is if the injured employee (or family member if deceased) gives up their right as their provincial citizen and would no longer be covered by their provincial health plan and must pay all their own medical bills from the injury and in the future.
[OP]
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Apr 25, 2006
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Working for a week and half, only about 2 out of the days required heavy lifting. We're basically doing spring cleaning in the maintenance department, lots of random jobs for the students. I hope i don't get terminated.

Thanks for all the replies.
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
15146 posts
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Do you have back support belt? You should consider getting one.
[OP]
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Apr 25, 2006
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After 2 x-rays on my lower back, it concluded i have disc herniation. It's minor and they will not operate. Ironically, my manager has been diagnosed similarly, and operated.

Hope he finds it in his heart and don't terminate. LOL....
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Dec 2, 2003
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Sorry to hear this. What I'd considered doing is, start making yourself so useful such as volunteering to do the crap jobs that nobody else wants that requires little/no lifting at all and they might just keep you around. You said its just a summer student position so its only another month anyways...
Tung(Tom)Nguyen
Sr. Member
Jan 10, 2008
999 posts
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Toronto
x-rays on my lower back, it concluded i have disc herniation

First of all, XR is not the test for a disc herniation. It's MRI.

Second, google search "false positive disc MRI". You will notice 30-50% of us are walking with a disc herniation without any pain. Having a disc is like having a pimple. http://www.chirogeek.com/000_MRI-Abnorm ... c-Pats.htm

So don't get too worried about a disc.
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Dec 20, 2006
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For goodness sake, find another job. Don't hurt your back more and more. You are 'killing' yourself with back pains for life if you continue to ignore heavy lifting. My nephew injured his back and was unable to move around like he used to be agile. Yes, he was doing a summer job like yours, moving heavy stuffs daily. Luckily, he finished his undergraduate that summer so he got a desk job elsewhere after recovering through long (and hurtful) therapies and now unable to play active sports ... just walking exercises, imagine that for a young guy and his back still hurts abit now and then. I will never risk (or disable) myself on a job even it pays a million $ that I can't enjoy my life.
:arrow: PEACE :arrowl:

I am only RESPONSIBLE for what I say NOT for what you understand
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Jan 2, 2007
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imoo2u wrote:
Aug 1st, 2008 12:32 am
For goodness sake, find another job. Don't hurt your back more and more. You are 'killing' yourself with back pains for life if you continue to ignore heavy lifting. My nephew injured his back and was unable to move around like he used to be agile. Yes, he was doing a summer job like yours, moving heavy stuffs daily. Luckily, he finished his undergraduate that summer so he got a desk job elsewhere after recovering through long (and hurtful) therapies and now unable to play active sports ... just walking exercises, imagine that for a young guy and his back still hurts abit now and then. I will never risk (or disable) myself on a job even it pays a million $ that I can't enjoy my life.
+ 1

really, i think this job is not suitable for you if you have back problem.

never risk your own health for any job, health is much more important
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