After workplace injuries, employees may need adjustments and accommodations to help them keep doing their jobs. These changes vary widely from person to person and from injury to injury. Importantly, employers must accommodate employees’ reasonable restrictions by law.
What Kinds of Adjustments and Accommodations Might Injured Workers Need?
To determine appropriate accommodations and restrictions, injured workers need to speak to both their doctors and their employers. Doctors generally dictate the restrictions that workers need so that their injuries can heal. Employers generally determine which accommodations they can provide in the workplace.
Accommodations needed might include:
- Limitations on lifting heavy objects
- No job duties that involve bending or stooping
- Special software for dictation or magnifying text
- A different office chair
- An assistant for certain tasks such as lifting overhead
Which accommodations a specific worker needs depends highly on his or her injury and residual effects from the injury. Injured workers who are having trouble getting appropriate accommodations can ask their doctors to explain the restrictions in more detail on doctors’ notes. They also can speak to their employers in more detail, explaining why they need the accommodations and which ones would be appropriate.
Legal Basis for Accommodations
In Minnesota, state and federal law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. Often, work injuries or their residual effects fall within the definition of disabilities. In addition, Minnesota law prohibits retaliation against workers who file for workers’ compensation benefits.
As a result, you have grounds to ask for an accommodation if you need it. If your employer believes that the accommodation is not reasonable, you may need legal help. In some cases, a qualified rehabilitation consultant (QRC) through the workers’ compensation benefits system can help with accommodations as well.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.