Light Duty Work Requirements
In order to continue to receive workers compensation benefits in the State of Nevada, there are special requirements to maintaining light duty employment. These requirements are different, depending on if the changes in work duties are temporary or permanent in nature. Some companies have special policies and programs regarding restricted job duties, while other employers will often have to make up job duties to keep the injured employee busy during hours of employment. It is important that the injured employee maintain employment with these restricted job duties in order to receive lost wage compensation and possible vocational rehabilitation benefits if they become necessary.
Difference between Temporary and Permanent Light Duty
If an injured employee is still able to perform some type of job duties for his or her employer, the employer may allow the employee to return to work with restricted job duties. These duties may be seen as short-term or as a stable new position within the company.
Employer Light Duty Programs
If the restriction in duties is seen as temporary, the employer may have a program already in place for injured employees so that they are able to return to the job as soon as possible. If there is no such program, an employer may give the injured employee tasks to complete in order to return to the job and remain employed with the company. These may be duties that are menial but necessary for the company, or they may be tasks designed simply to keep the employee busy during hours of employment.
Temporary versus Permanent
If the employer must offer permanent light duty, workers compensation law in Nevada prevents the employer from offering a job that is degrading, demeaning, or one that may cause the employee to be ridiculed or embarrassed. However, there are no such protective regulations for short-term restricted job duties. Depending on the employer, the new restricted job duties may be whatever the employer chooses, even if they may be ludicrous or not seem to make any sense.
Light Duty Requirements
After getting restrictions from the doctor, the employee must accept whatever restricted job duties are offered by the employer or the injured employee may risk losing employment and thus losing Nevada workers compensation benefits and compensation.
Doctor’s Input on Restricted Work Duties
The employer looks at the physician’s progress report. If it is stated that you are able to perform restricted job duties, you must perform the temporary duties your employer gives you. If the restricted job duties are too much for you to handle, you might consider asking your doctor if you could be taken off job duties for a short time until you can better handle your regular responsibilities on the job. Be wary if the doctor claims it is against the law to completely remove an injured worker from the job. The doctor ultimately decides what is best for each individual patient. This includes matters such as returning to work and the job duties able to be performed, even under Nevada workers compensation laws.
Employer’s Light Duty Work Policies
It is important to follow your employer’s policies involving work restrictions in order to maintain employment and to keep receiving workers compensation benefits in Nevada. You can be fired from your job if you refuse to cooperate with the restricted job duties offered by the employer. If you are fired due to noncompliance, you may still receive medical benefits for your injury. You may also still receive a Permanent Partial Disability award if you are eligible. However, you will not receive benefits for lost time and you will not be eligible for vocational rehabilitation.
Employer Violating Light Duty Restriction Requirements
If your employer is not following your restricted job duties as required by law, it is important that you notify your supervisor and your claims adjuster. If the situation is not resolved in a timely manner, send a follow-up letter to the adjuster and your employer. Be sure to date the letter and to save copies for your records. Do not stop going to work or just quit or you risk losing your benefits.
Pain Medication and Restricted Job Responsibilities
If you are on pain medications for your injury, ask your doctor if you should take this medication while performing your restricted job duties and be sure to provide verification for your employer. Being on pain killers will not excuse you from your restricted job duties. If you cannot drive on the medication or access public transportation, be sure to ask your claims adjuster for assistance on getting to your job.
Tips for Facing Light Duty Work Responsibilities
While it may be difficult to deal with a change in our job duties, you should still perform your job to the best of your ability. You do not want to risk losing your job, especially if you may have some permanent disability to where you may need the vocational rehabilitation offered by Nevada workers compensation. No matter how ridiculous you might think your restricted responsibilities may be, keep the following tips in mind as you perform your job duties:
- • Remember that you are doing this to maintain employment
- • Report for work on time to the best of your abilities
- • Don’t do anything that may jeopardize your position or make matters worse
- • Don’t show that you are upset while on the job
- • Do not argue with your boss especially about you duties
- • Never risk losing your employment over a temporary job requirement
- • Maintain employment to keep your vocational rehabilitation benefits
Morris/Anderson Law Firm
If you are receiving Nevada workers compensation benefits and will be returning to your job with restricted duties, a qualified attorney can help you to understand your rights and responsibilities. Morris/Anderson Law Firm can help you with all matters related to workers compensation benefits and returning to restricted job duties.Go to the Next Article