Eventually, once you’ve healed and your doctor has given you the green light, you’ll need to return to work. If you don’t, you could risk losing your workers’ compensation benefits, even if you don’t feel well enough or mentally ready to return. To ensure you’re prepared for when the time comes to go back to your previous job, find out everything you need to know about returning to work after an injury here.
Who Decides and When?
Some people assume that they get to decide when they will be able to return to work after an injury, however, that’s not the case in Canada. Your doctor has the power to decide when you should go back to work and if there will be any restrictions associated with your return. Depending on your injuries, the doctor might also release you while you’re still being treated. In this case, you might be released for light-duty or seated work.
Does the Insurance Company Have a Say?
If the insurance company disagrees with your doctor, they have the right to send you to a different doctor to obtain a second opinion.
Can You Be Fired After an Injury?
It’s important that you understand the paperwork the doctor has provided you with and notify your employer of your release date. Failure to do so could result in dismissal. Most employers have policies to assist you to get back to work. But if your restrictions cannot meet your job requirements, your employer is not required to return you to your former duties, or pay you the same, or even continue your employment. You might also risk losing your job if you were on a contract and the previous job is no longer available.
Can an Employer Force You to Work Outside Your Restrictions?
Upon return, it’s also wise to meet with your employer to discuss your work restrictions. In most cases, your employer will work with you to transition you back to work. But if they try to force you to do anything outside of your restrictions, you should talk to your worker’s comp representative.
Can You Refuse to Do Work?
It’s also important to remember that it works both ways. If you refuse to do anything that is within your work restrictions or if you quit, you could also lose your benefits or disability settlement.
If you disagree with your doctor’s diagnosis, or your employer is pushing you beyond your work restrictions, doesn’t have a position for you or has fired you outright, it’s time to contact a lawyer. If you don’t, you could be forced to take a new job that is under your pay scale or risk losing your benefits. Don’t let that happen, call us at Zuber Brioux instead.