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    What You Need to Know if Your Employer Wants You to Return to Work Against Your Doctor’s Order

    Posted on - Wednesday, June 30, 2021 under Workers Compensation

    Aside from friends and family, many people consider their jobs the most important aspect of their lives. Largely because their job is not only a way to pay the bills, but a source of purpose and meaning. It can be tempting to return to work against a doctor’s orders when an employer asks an injured worker to do so.  However, beware of returning to work against a doctor’s wishes, it may be not only bad for your health, but your ability to recover benefits in the future.

    If your employer has asked you to return to work despite your doctor’s advice to stay home and rest, contact our workers’ compensation lawyers at Parian Injury Law to discuss your best course of action. We can advise you of the benefits and pitfalls of returning to work in your current condition.

    The Trouble with Returning to Work Before You Are Medically Cleared and Physically Ready

    Even if your employer may be encouraging you to return to work, the reasons not to return to work against your doctor’s orders are innumerous. First, you may limit your eligibility to receive workers’ compensation benefits in the future.  For example, if you cannot handle the physical demands of your job, and while attempting to do it anyway, you re-injure yourself, you may not be eligible for future workers’ compensation benefits. Similarly, you can lose your job. Take for example if you are unable to perform your job duties, your employer may ultimately fire you. In this case, you would be out of both a job and your workers’ compensation benefits. Also, considering your inability to fully function as you would normally, it may prove difficult to find a new job in your desired line of work due to your injured state.

    If Your Employer Threatens to Fire You

    It is illegal for an employer to terminate you in retaliation to you for filing your workers’ compensation claim. If your employer threatens to fire you while you recover from injuries, consult with an attorney. Alternatively, if you decide to return to work before reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI), you may be able to receive benefits for time lost intermittently, under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  Although FMLA does not apply to everyone, the federal act protects workers’ positions for a maximum of 12 weeks when they must deal with caring for their own injury or a family member’s injury or illness. If FMLA applies to you, it protects your job, and you may also be entitled to lost wage compensation. 

    When Should You Return to Work?

    After an injury, the only time you should ever return to work is once you have reached MMI and without urging, your doctor gave you the all-clear. If you must persuade your doctor to believe you are completely healed, you may be hurting both yourself and ultimately your career.

    On the other hand, if your employer is pressuring you to return to work even though your doctor has not advised you to do so, you need to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer. At Parian Injury Law we can advise you on what you need to do to protect your rights to workers’ compensation and your position. Call one of our attorneys today.