When injured at work, you may have a long road of recovery ahead of you. Also, these injuries typically put a lot of pressure on workers. Along with having to go to doctor’s appointments and dealing with reduced pay, your boss may be pushing you to come back to work.
At this point, many workers comply with the request or demand (in some situations) believing they may be fired. However, your employer does not have the right to force you to return to work after an injury until you are ready and cleared to do so by your doctor.
At Hines Law, our workers’ compensation lawyers can explain your rights when it comes to workers’ compensation claims and help you navigate the often-confusing waters. We are your advocate in making sure you receive the benefits you are entitled to and only return to work when you are ready.
Related Article: WHAT ACCOMMODATIONS CAN I REQUEST AFTER A WORKPLACE ACCIDENT?
Is It Required That Your Employer Keep Your Position Open During Your Recovery?
There’s no legal requirement that your employer must keep your position or job open while you are recovering from an on-the-job accident. This makes sense because there are some positions that would cause a hardship to the company if they were not immediately filled. In this situation, your employer can find someone to fill the role right away.
Unfortunately, it is this reality that makes some injured workers concerned about if they are going to lose their job after filing a workers’ compensation claim. While your boss is not required to hold your job or position, Gainesville law protections you from any type of retaliatory discharge. What this means is that your boos cannot fire you simply because you filed a workers’ compensation claim.
If you do lose your job because you filed a workers’ compensation claim, it may be possible to recover even more damages beyond the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to.
The best way to know if this is possible is by calling and discussing your situation with our workers’ compensation lawyers.
Does Your Employer Have the Right to Request or Demand That You Return Too Soon?
The short answer is, “no.” No employer can demand an injured worker come back to work. You don’t have to go back to work until you are cleared by your doctor and have sufficiently recovered from the injuries you sustained.
If you continue to feel pressure from your employer to return, or if they demand or threaten you, it’s best to get in touch with our workers’ compensation lawyers. We can help you understand your rights and help you protect them for the duration of your claim.
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How Do You Determine When It Is Safe to Return to Work?
Your doctor is the one who will determine if you can return to work after an on-the-job injury. If your boss or you believe that you are ready to come back sooner, there are a few options to consider. For example, you may ask your doctor to clear you to return to work with some restrictions. For example, if you can’t stand for long periods of time, you may be able to take on a desk job. In some situations, you can be cleared to return to work, but with the requirement that you work fewer hours than you did before your accident.
Are There Risks if You Return to Work Too Soon?
The main risk associated with returning to work too soon is that your injury will get worse. You may also reinjure or even prevent yourself from fully recovering.
How to Prepare to Go Back to Work After an On-the-Job Injury
While it’s necessary for your doctor to clear you to return to work, there are some steps you can take to prepare for when this happens. When you start talking about going back to work, be sure to consider several things. These include:
- What job duties do you typically have so your doctor can determine if it is safe to resume them
- Restrictions about what you can and can’t do
- Your employer’s return-to-work policy
Once you get back to work, you should continue with your follow-up appointments with your doctor. These are necessary until you are released from their care.
Related Article: HOW LONG CAN YOU RECEIVE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IN GEORGIA?
Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for More Information
If you are injured on the job, it can have a huge impact on your life. While this is true, there is no reason to allow your employer to demand that you return to work before you are released by your doctor or before you are fully healed. If you are facing a situation like this, get in touch with our workers’ compensation lawyers from Hines Law. We are ready to help you with your case and ensure your rights are protected.