Have you been injured on-the-job working for your employer? You may know that the best steps toward recovery involve getting better in your home environment depending on severity, or continuing to work at a steady pace in your job environment. But what happens when it’s time to get back to work? Taking things slowly and safely can go a far way when it comes to your health. Now you can find out more.
What Happens if I Sustained an Injury but Want to Stay at Work?
Depending on the severity of your injury, you may have had to take some time off of work. If this is the case, then you may want to know how you can easily transition into coming back to work. If not, you may have never left work at all. Many people will help you in this transition including your primary physician, your employer, the claims administrator, or your attorney. You should always actively communicate with these people about things like the work you did before your injury, your medical condition and the kinds of work you can do now, and the kinds of work that your employer could make more easily available to you.
A treating physician will complete a form known as the Return-to-Work Form. This form notifies your employer and the workers’ compensation representative that you’re ready to return to work. Depending on your health status and how you have recovered, lighter work duties may be assigned to you. An effective form will go over things like confirmation that your employer understands the nature and extent of your injuries, present physical limitations, a plan to provide reasonable accommodations to you, and open communication between parties.
Work Restrictions and Violations
- With Restrictions: Your primary physician may report that you can return to work with restrictions. This means that, any work that is assigned to you, must meet these restrictions. Your employer may choose to change certain tasks, reduce your time on tasks, or provide helpful equipment to you.
- Without Restrictions: If you can return to work without restrictions, then your employer must typically give you the same job and pay you what you were receiving before your injury. You may return without restrictions soon after the injury, or later after your condition has fully improved.
If your employer has assigned work to you that violates your work restrictions, then you should take action in writing. You are never forced to accept an assignment that does not meet your new restrictions. The written document should explain how your job assignments fail to meet the restrictions set by your doctor. If your employer takes a look at the demands and threatens action against you because you won’t accept the work, then there could be a violation of California Labor Code Section 132a. This code prohibits discrimination against injured workers. If you are out of work for these reasons, then your claims administrator must pay temporary total disability benefits.
What Happens if I Don’t Make a Full Recovery?
It may be determined by your primary treating physician that you will never be able to return to the same job you had before your injury. Your doctor to your employer should report this in writing so that they are aware that there are permanent work restrictions to protect you from further injury.
If you have been hurt on the job, you may want to enlist in the guidance of an attorney that understands the complex laws surrounding workers’ compensation and the likes. If you are entitled to benefits, then it is important that you receive those benefits to aid you in your recovery. Call WTW today for a consultation so we can help you get back up on your feet after your accident.