No, your employer can’t force you to return back to work after an injury. However, there are certain rights that both you and your employer have surrounding your injury. If you were injured while at work, there are specific laws in place to protect your wages and employment at a company.
Every work injury case is different, so your employer’s rights depend on your exact situation. The determination of your case regarding your ability to perform essential functions of the position in question should never be used as the primary decision of your employment by your employer. There are several other factors that go into determining if you’re ready to perform job duties again. If your employer is pushing you to go back to work after an injury and aren’t following along with the workers’ compensation laws, it’s important to reach out to a team of experienced workers’ compensation legal professionals for help.
Doctor Restrictions When You’re Back to Work After an Injury
One of the most common situations in workplace injury cases we see are restrictions put in place by doctors. For example, if your doctor tells you that you’re cleared to go back to work, but you aren’t approved to lift over 20 pounds. However, your job duties require you to list more than 20 pounds. Sometimes, employers will ask you to come back to work and ask you to ignore the restrictions put in place by your doctor. If this is happening to you, you should reach out to your attorney to understand the parameters of your actual role at the company and any light-duty position offered by your employer.
Different Opinions from Independent Medical Examiners
Another common situation people run into when they’re going back to work after an injury is a different opinion from an independent medical examiner. A workers’ compensation insurer will oftentimes ask the injured party to receive a checkup from an independent medical examiner. It’s not uncommon for the IMEs to have different opinions on restrictions compared to your personal doctors treating the injury.
If this is you, you can reach out to an attorney to learn which team of professional doctors you should listen to in regards to your injury. This is a great time to talk to an attorney, as your attorney will help you to better understand the different options and ramifications available to you.
Ramifications of Not Going Back to Work
While your employer can’t force you back to work, there are still some negative consequences that may arise from you not going back to work after an injury. For example, the possibility of wage loss is possible if you’re hurt on the job. If you’re anticipating you’re going to struggle with wage loss or you already are experiencing wage loss after an injury, reach out to your local workplace injury lawyers. They’ll help you to understand what the best next steps for you are.
What to Do When You’re Ready to get Back to Work After an Injury
Your employer can’t force you to go back to work after an injury. There are certain criteria you have to meet to make sure your injured rights are protected by worker’s compensation. Reach out to one of your experienced attorneys if you’re unsure of what to expect when you’re ready to go back to work.
If you’re ready to have a team of professional work injury experts take a look at your case before you go back to work after an injury, contact Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law today to receive a free case evaluation.