Injured on the Job? 5 Things You Need to Know About Light-Duty Work

Workers who get injured on the job more than once are twice as likely to quit than ones who don’t. About 30% of workers who are injured leave their jobs in 18 months after the injury, whether they left on their own or were let go.

That goes to show that many employers aren’t prepared to handle workplace injuries. They don’t have contingency plans in place for a long absence and they don’t have a plan for you to return to work.

Read on to find out more about light-duty work and how it can impact your worker’s compensation benefits.

  1. Light-Duty Work and Your Income

Does your income drop if you are on light-duty work? If you are a salaried employee, you won’t see a drop in income.

Hourly employees are paid based on the number of hours worked. If you work fewer hours, you will see a drop in income. You may be able to file for disability payments to make up the difference.

  1. You Lose Your Benefits if You Refuse the Job

Some light-duty work examples include taking inventory, performing maintenance, or work in an office job. You may find that your light-duty job offer isn’t something that you want to do or you feel you can’t do.

You have to take the job offer, or you will lose your benefits.

  1. The Laws of Light-Duty Work

Does your employer have to offer you light-duty work? There are no laws that require them to at the state and federal levels.

Some states have laws about the type of work an employer offers. For example, they have to make reasonable accommodations and the job has to relate to your line of work.

  1. Return-to-Work Programs

A lot can happen to a company after a long absence. People come and go, and policies change. Some employers have return-to-work programs in place.

A return-to-work program helps you slowly get integrated into the company again until you’re ready to resume regular work-duties. Find out more about this program and see how it can benefit you and your employer.

  1. Signs Your Employer Is Crossing the Line

There is a fine line between getting you back to work and pushing you beyond your limits. Small businesses aren’t equipped to handle an extended absence, and they’re still under pressure to serve customers and meet deadlines.

If your employer gives you light-duty work that goes past your doctor’s orders, you should contact an attorney. You’ll want to protect yourself if your employer is pressuring you to return to work or if you feel that you’re not quite ready.

Know Your Rights When You’re Injured on the Job

Injuries often happen in the workplace, and you have to know your rights when you’re ready to return to work. Employers don’t have to offer light-duty work to employees, but it makes it can help with employee retention.

If you’re offered light-duty work, you have to accept it or you can lose your worker’s compensation benefits. The good news is that your income is unlikely to change.

If you got useful information out of this and want more tips for your career, head over to the Career section of this site.

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