Can I be forced back to work?

Michigan work comp attorney says you cannot legally be forced back to work, but it’s best to try jobs offered by your employer

You can never be forced to back to work after you’ve been hurt on the job. But there are things you can do to protect your job and your right to workers compensation benefits. Take a look at the frequently asked questions our Michigan work comp attorneys have provided below.

If you’re being forced back to work, or you want to know about your legal rights, call (855) 221-2667 or fill out our free contact form. You can speak with one of our work comp attorneys now, and there’s no cost or obligation.

Q. Can I be forced back to work by my employer?
A. You can never be forced to back to work beyond the restrictions set by your doctor. However, it is a good idea to try any job that is offered by your employer.

Sometimes your employer will offer you a chance to come back to work within your medical restrictions. This is known as “favored work” or “reasonable employment.” You must attempt this work, or you could forfeit your right to wage loss benefits during any period of refusal.

If you cannot perform the work or it is causing you pain, stop and tell a supervisor. You can request to go home or to see your doctor.

Here’s more information on your employer’s responsibility after you have been injured.

Q. I’m on prescription medication, can I go back to work?
A. You are not required to perform any work that poses a threat to your health and safety. Many times prescription medications will interfere with your ability to drive an automobile, climb ladders or operate machinery. This could also put other people in significant danger. You should immediately tell your employer if this situation arises.

Q. What if my employer offers me a job that is too difficult for my injury, or insulting?
A. Employers will sometimes offer a job that is beyond your medical restrictions or designed to harass you. For example, our work comp attorneys have represented clients who have been forced to sit in a shack and do nothing but watch an empty parking lot.

The employer is hoping that you will quit your job and forfeit any wage loss benefits. You should try any job that your employer offers, but immediately inform a supervisor if you cannot perform the job because of your work injury.

It is up to a magistrate to determine if work offered is truly reasonable. If the magistrate determines that the work offered was not reasonable, you should be paid for the time that you refused to work. You should also speak with an experienced work comp attorney if you feel your legal rights are being violated. Call us at (855) 221-2667. The call and the advice are free.

Q. What if I return to work and then stop?
A. Even if you are successful in returning to work, you are entitled to wage loss benefits if you stop again. If you return to a lesser paying job, you will be entitled to differential wage loss. This is the difference between what you are earning now and what you could earn before the injury.

The law becomes much more complicated when you have returned to favored work for an extended period of time. You are entitled to full weekly wage loss benefits if you have been employed on favored work for less than 100 weeks and lose your job. If you are terminated from your job and it is your fault, workers comp benefits can be disputed.

If you have been employed on favored work for 100 weeks or more and lose your job through no fault of your own, then wage loss benefits are still owed. The amount will depend upon whether you have established a new wage earning capacity. There is some debate in the courts about how to define a new wage earning capacity. Think of a new wage earning capacity as your ability to earn wages from other employers taking into consideration your work restrictions. Ask yourself if you can get another job paying equivalent wages with your work injury.

You could also be entitled to weekly wage loss benefits if you have been employed on favored work for 250 weeks or more and lose your job through no fault of your own. However, there is a presumption that you have a new wage earning capacity and your wage loss benefits can be reduced or stopped entirely.

This all may seem confusing, but a work comp attorney can help you receive all the wage loss benefits that you’re entitled to under Michigan law.

Q. Can my medical benefits still be paid if I return to work?
A. Medical benefits should continue to be paid whether you go back to work or not. Many of our clients require follow-up care even after they have returned to work. Medical treatment under workers compensation is unlimited and can be paid for life.

Help from our Michigan work comp attorneys

To speak with one of our attorneys now, call (855) 221-2667. We’ve been protecting people injured on the job for more than 35 years.

Our attorneys can explain all of your legal rights and answer your questions — with no cost or obligation to you. You can also fill out our free contact form.

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