As workers’ compensation attorneys, we are frequently asked questions about light-duty work restrictions and what happens when an injured worker must return to their job. Below, we explain what you need to know about light-duty work restrictions.
Do Employers Have to Offer Light-Duty Work?
Employers are not legally obligated to offer an injured employee light-duty work while they are recovering. However, some states have laws that require employers to offer light-duty work if the company has a certain amount of workers. If an employer does offer light-duty work to an employee, the job must accommodate the restrictions of the injured employee.
Can I Refuse Light-Duty Work Restrictions?
If your health care provider hasn’t authorized it, you have the right to decline an offer of reemployment with light-duty work restrictions. If your doctor has cleared you for light-duty work but you refuse the offer of reemployment, you can be disqualified from receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Does FMLA Impact Offers for Light-Duty Work?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has worker protections that are different from those that apply to an injured employee who has been offered reemployment with light-duty work restrictions. Under the FMLA, you can refuse an offer of reemployment without jeopardizing your family leave rights. However, refusing light-duty work after being cleared by a doctor can result in the loss of your benefits.
Will I Be Paid Less If I Accept Light-Duty Work Restrictions?
If you are a salaried employee, you can continue to receive your regular pay if you accept light-duty work restrictions. Your employer also can’t deny you the opportunity to resume your original job if you have been cleared by a doctor to return to work.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in San Jose
Have you or a loved one suffered a serious injury at work? Do you need help qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits? If so, you should immediately consult with our lawyers to discuss the details of your case. We are committed to helping injured workers throughout San Jose, and we are prepared to put our skills to work for you today.