Can your employer force you to return to work during a claim?

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2022 | Workplace Injuries

The injuries that workers suffer on the job in Pennsylvania can quickly become expensive. Workers may require emergency medical care after hitting their heads or breaking a bone at work. If the injury is significant, they may need to take a leave of absence. Having adequate time off from your job is often an important part of the recovery process. Your body needs rest to heal, especially if your injury is the result of constantly doing the same work for your employer.

Typically, companies in Pennsylvania need to cooperate with injured employees who qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. They will need to retain the employee on their staff roster during the medical leave of absence that results and possibly offer reasonable accommodations as the worker attempts to return to their job.

Unfortunately, some companies will try to force workers back to work without accommodating them and before they have recovered fully. What can you do if your employer demands that you come back to your job before your symptoms subside?

Obtain medical documentation

One of the most important steps that you can take when you and your employer disagree about whether or not you are ready to come back to work is to undergo a medical evaluation by the doctor providing your workers’ compensation medical treatment.

If they affirm that you have residual symptoms and require a longer leave of absence, that may be sufficient to protect your job while extending your disability leave. If the doctor agrees that you can return to work but on the condition that the company must accommodate you, providing written details to your manager or to human resources about the limitations your injury has caused and the support you need to resume full-time work will be very important.

What if your employer won’t cooperate?

Unfortunately, some workers embroiled in return-to-work disputes with their employers will not be able to resolve the matter amicably. They may lose their job or find themselves without the benefits they need and at risk of re-injuring themselves. Such workers need to know their rights and may also need to document their interactions with their employers.

Workers dealing with complicated claims often need outside support. Taking the right steps can protect you if your employer wants you back on the job too soon after a serious workplace injury.