In many cases, if you are injured at work, your doctor will eventually release you at a certain point before you are completely healed. This is when most people seek light duty from their employer. But are employers required to offer this type of work? The answer is not always so simple.
Your employer must offer you light duty in most states provided that such a position exists. What your employer does not have to do is create a new position for you. If you are given a light duty offer, you must accept it, providing that your physician has released you to perform such duties.
Many people worry that returning to light duty will eliminate their benefits. Typically, if the light duty position that you are put in pays less than what you received before you were injured, you may receive the difference between the wages. You will need to speak with your workers’ comp contact to determine the amount of compensation you would be entitled to receive.
If, on the other hand, you choose to turn down the work, you could see a negative impact on any benefits you have been receiving. In many states, you can completely lose your right to collect compensation because you refused to accept suitable work. You may also lose your right to any rehabilitation benefits you would have been offered otherwise.
When you speak with your employer about light duty, make sure that they are aware of your restrictions. For example, if you are restricted to no lifting over a certain weight limit, your employer cannot ask that you lift heavy objects anyway. It is illegal for your employer to ask you to do things that your doctor has said you cannot. If you run into this situation, an attorney may be able to help you.
If you need assistance with workers’ compensation in Charleston, call our office. A member of our team will review the details of your injury and advise you of your current options. Call us today for assistance or browse our website for more information about what we do and how we can help you.