If your employer’s doctor decides you are well enough to return to a light duty job while recuperating from a work injury, you may have little choice but to return to work. In some cases, light duty may mean returning to the regular job, but either working at a slower pace or otherwise not performing every function. Perhaps the employer will provide special equipment so you can perform your former job without exacerbating your injury. Regardless of what the light duty consists of, it should be less physically or mentally demanding than the job you performed prior to your injury.
The doctor performs a medical examination and decides what type of restrictions the employee has for light duty work. Refusal to accept a light duty assignment could mean the end of your workers’ compensation benefits. The employer may then ask a workers’ compensation judge to modify or end your benefits.
However, an employee who does not think they are up to light duty work should request to see another doctor approved by the employer. If the employee returns to light duty but the employer is giving them tasks beyond the doctor’s specific limitations as per the medical examination, they should file an incident report with the doctor.
Light duty work is usually more available for workers employed by larger companies than smaller ones. Larger companies can find more light duty positions than a business with relatively few employees. There are positives to light duty work. Going back to work often boosts an injured worker’s morale. It is good to get back into a routine if the alternative involves sitting around the house. Employers like to assign light duty work when possible because it lowers their overall workers’ compensation costs.
If the light duty work pays as much or more than the worker’s regular job, the employee will no longer receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, if the light duty assignment pays less than the regular duty assignment, the employee should continue to receive partial workers’ compensation benefits.
Light Duty Work Examples
Although types of light duty vary by the nature of the company, such jobs may include:
- Trash pickup
- Running errands
- Paperwork filing
- Conducting inventory
- Inspecting for quality control
- Document shredding
- Safety inspections
- Mail delivery and sorting
- Answering and making telephone calls
- Training new workers
- Light housekeeping
- Online work or other desk jobs
- Making pickups and deliveries
- Surveillance camera monitoring
South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP Fight for Injured Workers
If you were injured while on the job, you need the services of the experienced South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP. For a free consultation, fill out an online form or call us at 856-761-3773 today. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we represent clients from the City of Camden and across South Jersey.