Oftentimes, employers want to get their injured employees back to work as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this is generally not in the best interests of the employee for numerous reasons. If you sustained an injury while performing your job duties, it is important to wait until you are fully healed and ready to take on the demands of your job without harming your physical wellbeing or creating unnecessary complications for your health. If your employer is pressing you to return to work before your physician has given you the green light to return to your job, you should consult with a skilled workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to avoid being taken advantage of.
Even if you wish to return to work, pushing yourself past the limits of your condition will not only be harmful to your wellbeing, but to your workers’ compensation claim as well. If you are still not able to perform your job duties because your injuries are limiting you, your employer might let you go, leaving you both jobless and without the benefits you desperately need.
Is There an Upside to Returning to Work?
If you have reached maximum medical improvement and are ready to return to work, then doing so could help you feel better and, of course, increase your income and benefits. If you have friends at your place of work, having them around and being able to feel engaged in your environment can be immensely beneficial for your mental wellbeing as well. Additionally, if you are looking to get a promotion or a raise, this can only happen if you are there. However, there are never any benefits to returning to work before you are physically able to. Nothing is more important than your health.
Can I Be Fired for Not Returning to Work?
Your employer is not required by law to keep your job available for you, though most will generally allow an injured worker to return to their position as long as they stay in contact and keep them updated on when they might be able to return. However, your employer cannot fire you just because you filed for workers’ compensation benefits and future employers cannot ask you if you have ever filed such a claim.
What Happens if My Doctor Clears Me for Return and I Fail to Resume My Position?
If your doctor states that you reached maximum medical improvement and can return to work, you are required to do so unless you are able to successfully appeal the directive. If you were not able to fully recover from your injuries and now have a partial disability, you can request reasonable accommodations or take up a different position within the company. If you end up having to take a pay cut because you needed to perform a different job that could accommodate your partial disability, it is possible that you might qualify for reduced-earnings benefits through workers’ compensation. However, it is imperative that you hire a skilled workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.
Skilled Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Sacramento
If you suffered an injury while performing your job duties, you have a right to file for workers’ compensation benefits, which can help you during this difficult period of recovery. At Smolich & Smolich in Sacramento, our team of skilled workers’ compensation attorneys is dedicated to representing injured workers and ensuring they are able to obtain the benefits they deserve and need to get back on their feet.
You will not owe us any legal fees if we cannot win your case!