Since I Cannot Perform the Job I Did Before the Injury, Can I Return to Work in a Different Capacity, and How Would That Impact Future Compensation?
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Since I cannot perform the job I did before the injury, can I return to work in a different capacity, and how would that impact future compensation?
Yes, you can return to work even if you have a partial disability or certain workplace restrictions. For example, your doctor may ask you to reduce the number of repetitive tasks you do or prohibit you from lifting objects over a certain weight limit. As an employee, you can request reasonable accommodations from your employer to help facilitate your return to work in a different capacity.
Some examples of reasonable accommodations include reassignment to a different position or light duty, modifying work schedules, allowing teleworking or installing ramps. In most cases, an employer’s failure to offer reasonable accommodations can be considered a violation of various labor laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Employers are not required to provide reasonable accommodations to workers with disabilities if doing so would result in undue hardship to the employer. The standard for determining undue hardship depends on factors such as the company’s size and financial resources.
In some cases, your employer will assign you to a new position because of your workplace restrictions. If you are being paid less than you were in your previous job, you may qualify for reduced earning compensation. For instance, if you are an injured part-time worker, your workers’ compensation payments will be calculated based on your actual part-time weekly earnings. If accommodating your workplace restrictions is not possible for your employer, you may qualify for total temporary disability benefits until your doctor approves a return to full duty or your company can accommodate you.
Your employer cannot bar you from returning to work on the basis that you have a disability. However, there is an exception. Employers are not required to offer employment to people who cannot carry out the essential duties of the job due to their disabilities. They also do not have an obligation to accommodate a workers’ permanent restrictions or provide retraining.
If you believe your employer has violated your rights or is denying you employment after a workplace injury, speak to a skilled New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer right away. The Todd J. Leonard Law Firm has experience representing clients in all sorts of workers’ compensation cases.
Whether your employer is not offering you reasonable accommodations for a disability or asking you to perform tasks that violate your doctor-ordered restrictions, we are here to help. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.
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Being injured or having a family member injured can have serious and lifelong consequences. We can try to ease the burden. Contact us today to learn more about how our team of experienced New Jersey accident attorneys can support you through these challenging times.