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Fear of Being Fired

Researchers have identified a new predictor that can be used to better help workers dealing with workplace injuries. Researchers conducted telephone interviews with injured workers in 8 states. These states are Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The workers interviewed were injured in 2010 and received workers’ compensation benefits and were then interviewed in 2013.

In their study, Predictors of Worker Outcomes, they have found fear of being fired to be an issue not previously addressed by payers and health care providers. Injured workers feel that after an injury there is a loss of trust between them and their employer. Workers feel that due to their injury their employer will start to look for a replacement because they don’t want to deal with them. They found that workers who were strongly concerned about being fired after the injury experienced poorer return-to-work outcomes than workers without those concerns. These concerns were also associated with a four week increase in the average time of disability. If this fear of being fired can be addressed then injured workers will be able to focus more energy on getting better without the stress of possibly being fired.

The studies also asked the injured workers about certain comorbid medical conditions. Comorbid medical conditions are conditions that exist simultaneously but independently with other conditions. They asked about hypertension, diabetes, and heart conditions. What they found is that workers with any one of those three problems had higher percentage points of not being back at work while the interview was done.

Injured workers should not have to stress about being fired for being injured on the job. At Michael J. O’Connor and Associates, we don’t want any injured worker having to stress about losing their job. Let us take care of your stress while you worry about getting better.