What Is the Return to Work Policy If You Were Injured on the Job?

Have you been out of work for some time because of an injury sustained on the job? And now you’re wondering what your company’s return to work policy is?

If you didn’t know about the return to work policies that are in place, there’s no need to become stressed about it, because we are going to tell you everything you need to know in this article.

You must continue reading and understand what the policy is before returning to work. We’ll also discuss various workloads that you may be given upon returning to work.

What’s a Return to Work Policy?

The return to work after injury policy is precisely what the name implies. It’s a policy that all employees must meet before they can begin working again after being out due to injuries they sustained while at work. The return to work policy protects the employee from being injured further if they aren’t fully healed.

It also protects the employer from having to pay more compensation if the employee gets hurt further because they returned to work before they were medically ready. Some employers will choose to put the employee on a light-duty assignment.

This light-duty or transitional work, as known, allows the employee to return to gaining income without having to participate in strenuous work activity. The light-duty work also reduces the amount of time that the employee will have to spend out of work healing.

Light-Duty Assignments

Light duty, also known as return to work with restrictions, is not meant to be a long-term solution for employees; it should only be allowed for a short time. There are specific situations in which an employee might be placed on light duty, including:

  • Being with child
  • Having major surgery
  • Being injured at work and can’t stand for long periods or lift heavy objects

When the return to work policy is implemented in the workplace, employers must outline the period that an employee can be on light duty. Otherwise, employees will become confused about how long they are meant to carry on this lighter workload.

What If I Require Accommodations?

Before you return to work, your employer may require that you bring them medical documentation clearing you to return to work or a light duty pathway letter. This may not be the case for all employers, but generally, it will be done to protect the company moving forward.

If the medical report clears you but states that you can work with accommodations, these accommodations will need to be made by your employer. Not making these accommodations may set your employer up for a discriminatory lawsuit.

There are some cases when your physician will state that you can’t return to work after injury and that could change things entirely.

Are You Heading Back to Work?

Before going back to work, you must review your company’s return to work policy. This will keep you from being surprised or blindsided by anything that may arise when you return to your duties. If you have any questions or clarifications about your rights after being injured at work, you may consult a workers compensation attorney.

If you found this article helpful and require other legal or business advice check out one of the other articles posted on our site.