When you take time off to recover from a serious workplace injury, one of your primary concerns is probably getting back to work. You may worry that your employer will replace you or force you out after you return.
How Can You Get Back to Work as Quickly as Possible?
Most workers want to return to work after injuries, if they are physically able. Being out of work literally costs them money, and they miss the routine, the challenge, or their coworkers. The urge to return to work can lead workers to go back before they are truly ready. They may need additional medical treatment or simply not be fully healed.
While workers’ compensation benefits can only partially replace wages, they do cover all medical needs. The insurance company has to pay for medical expenses that are reasonably necessary and related to the workplace injury. As a result, workers should complete their courses of treatment and follow all doctor recommendations before trying to go back to work. You can talk to your doctor about when return to work is appropriate.
What If Something Goes Wrong When You Return to Work?
If you return to work and find that you have been replaced or that your job duties have been reduced, you may want to speak to both a workers’ compensation lawyer and an employment lawyer. You have rights while on leave for a workplace injury, and your employer is prohibited from retaliating against you or terminating your employment because of a qualifying disability.
Alternatively, you may discover that you cannot perform your work duties as well or at all. In that case, you can speak to your employer about possible accommodations, such as a different chair, modified duties, or special software. Also, talk to your workers’ compensation lawyer about requesting a vocational rehabilitation consultation. Your qualified rehabilitation consultant may help you gain appropriate accommodations, job search, or even get education to take on a new job.
In any situation, going back to work after an injury can be a struggle. If your employer is understanding, you may still struggle to complete your duties or to heal completely. If your employer is not understanding, you could be replaced, lose your job, or find your duties and pay reduced. In either case, take your time to recover while on leave to maximize your ability to return successfully.
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.