Michigan lawyer discusses workers’ comp and light duty and explains how to protect legal rights.
Employers are given a powerful incentive to bring disabled employees back to work. They do not have to pay wage loss benefits under workers’ comp if they offer a job within restrictions. This is called light duty or reasonable employment. It must not pose danger to health or safety and should be a reasonable distance from home. Unfortunately, it is not limited to past jobs so any type of employment can be offered. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about workers’ comp and light duty.
Problems occur with reasonable employment work when the employer no longer wants to accommodate restrictions. They send a disabled employee to an independent medical examination (IME) and get a written opinion saying restrictions are no longer necessary. The employee is given a choice of returning to unrestricted work or losing their job.
A bad employer will push boundaries and try to get a disabled employee to perform activities beyond their restrictions. They offer demeaning jobs that are not value added with the hope an employee voluntarily quits. Failure to accept a reasonable employment can result in a forfeiture of wages.
We have represented many people who have a dispute with their employer about their job restrictions and what is required. It is very important to speak with an experienced lawyer if a problem occurs. A lawsuit can be filed based upon medical and other evidence. Most of these disputes are eventually settled for a lump sum cash payment.
Can you get workers’ comp while on light duty?
A disabled employee on workers’ comp must accept a light duty job if provided by their employer. It is not limited to past jobs, so anything goes. But it must not pose a danger to health or safety. Your benefits should include the payment of differential wage loss benefits if a disabled employee is earning less money.
Can I refuse light duty on workers’ comp?
A disabled employee cannot refuse a light duty job on workers’ comp in Michigan. Failure to show up results in a permanent loss of wages. A person can refuse the job if outside restrictions.
There is also an argument to refuse if too far away from home or at unreasonable hours. Watch out for demeaning jobs that are designed to get a person to quit.
Does workers’ comp pay for job restrictions?
A disabled employee who is on job restrictions should be paid directly by their employer. Workers’ comp should pay differential wage loss benefits if an employee is earning less money. Watch out for insurance companies who put disabled employees at transitional work locations because these jobs are fake and rarely last.
How do I get out of job restrictions?
Many of our clients are treated badly while on job restrictions. They also worry about the future because their employment could end suddenly. It is possible to give up the job and get a lump sum cash settlement. Speak with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer to find out about potential options.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.