In most states, when a worker who has filed for workers’ comp benefits is able to return to light duty, the employer must return the worker to the job he or she left or an equivalent job, provided that such a position is available.
However, in some states, going back to work in a light duty capacity may mean that an employee still needs to be paid workers’ compensation benefits to make up the difference for what he or she would have earned in their regular position were they fully recovered. Sadly, for this reason, some employers will claim they have no light duty employment available, simply to be able to stop paying workers’ compensation benefits.
If you do return to your previous employer, make sure your employer knows about the restrictions your doctor has put on you, such as no lifting over 20 pounds. If your employer asks you to do some heavy lifting anyway, decline the task and say your doctor has recommended against it, and document the occurrence. If your employer has provided you with light duty or modified work, the employer can’t fire you for not doing work that your doctor says you shouldn’t do.
If you have been injured and are receiving workman’s compensation, please do not hesitate to contact the Northland Injury Law firm for a free consultation at 816-400-4878. An attorney experienced in the field of worker’s compensation law will be ready to advise you of your options and counsel you through this difficult time.