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Returning to Work With Written Work Restrictions

Mankato Worker’s Compensation Attorney

Like many injured workers, you may have to concentrate at first on whether or not you will get paid workers’ compensation and get the medical bills paid.  Sooner or later in most cases, though, there will come a time when you need to return to work – even if you are still healing.  Most times, your doctor is likely to release you to go back to work – but not without some restrictions.  These restrictions are intended to prevent making the injury worse, to give it time to heal, or to keep from re-injuring yourself. These restrictions can be temporary, or they can sometimes be permanent.

Your doctor should put these restrictions in writing – and you are responsible to make sure your employer gets a copy promptly.

When Do You Need to Return to Work?

Your employer may be inquiring on when you will return to work, but that date is not set by them. You can only return to work when your doctor clears you to do so. Your doctor will clear you when you can adequately do your position safely – or at least some kinds of work safely. This may include some restrictions.  (If you are released to full time and full duty with no restrictions, your work comp benefits will stop – so don’t insist that the doctor let you go back “100%” unless it is true.)

The date you return to work is the date when your doctor says that you can do so – and it may mean at some lighter duty job than your regular one.  For instance, if you were a line worker in a factory, but got injured and still cannot do a standing job, your employer could offer you a sitting clerical job until you heal. If the doctor agrees that the temporary job offer is within your restrictions, you have to accept it and go back to work or your work comp benefits can be stopped. If you have to work at a wage loss compared to your wage at the time you were injured, work comp has to pay you 2/3 of the difference between what you earn at this light duty job and your wage on your date of injury.

Returning to Work With Restrictions

If you are cleared to go back to work by your doctor, always make sure you get any restrictions in writing. You can take this doctor’s note to your supervisor and it will excuse you from certain tasks. If you do not submit written work restrictions from your doctor to your employer, they are under no obligation to comply with those restrictions. Even verbally communicated restrictions do not need to be adhered to. This means if you did not submit your written restrictions, then they can put you on full work duty and any further damage that does to your injury is your fault.

When you do return to work with written restrictions, you have the right for accommodation from your employer so you can transition back without discomfort. If your employer is not accommodating your restrictions, be sure to consult with your worker’s compensation attorney right away. This may mean they will change your work duties, or even that you will return to worker’s compensation benefits until healed more so you can safely return.

It is also important that you do not push yourself past your restrictions either. It is only natural to want to work hard to make up for lost days if you like your company, but pushing past your own restrictions is not only dangerous to your physical well-being, but it will be dangerous to your valid worker’s compensation claim. If you exacerbated your own injury, you may not get compensation for any new injuries that occurred because of that.

Have You Been Hurt At Work?

Are you a Minnesota worker that has been hurt at work? Not only is the process of getting approved for worker’s compensation a difficult one, but even if you get benefits, you are faced with difficulties that come after as well. This is why you want a worker’s compensation attorney by your side that will help you get your claim approved as well as be there to answer your questions afterwards. If you want a worker’s compensation lawyer that will be by your side from injury to full health, contact us today to see how Harvey & Carpenter can help you get the compensation that you need.

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