A light-duty assignment is any role at your workplace that is less physically demanding but allows you to be productive and go back to work for your employer, even if you have been injured on the job.
If you’re recently been injured on the job and are working with a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney to get the compensation you deserve, you may have some questions about the process, and your obligations to your employer.
For example, if you are approved for light-duty work after your injury, do you have to go back to work?
What Is a “Light-Duty” Assignment?
A light-duty assignment is any role at your workplace that is less physically demanding, but allows you to be productive and go back to work for your employer, even if you have been injured on the job.
For example, if you are a construction worker and you experience a serious cut or laceration to your hand that leaves you unable to do your normal duties, a “light-duty” assignment could be something like helping out around the office or driving a truck or other vehicle to job sites or to purchase construction materials.
You Should Generally Go Back To Work If Light-Duty Meets Doctor Restrictions
If you are able to go back to work in a less physically-demanding role and your doctor approves the job requirements, you should generally go back to work on light-duty.
Even if you have not yet reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) and are still in some pain or discomfort while healing from your injury, you should perform light-duty work as long as it’s within your doctor’s approved restrictions.
You Can Refuse Light-Duty Work if It Is Not Within Doctor Restrictions
There are some situations where you can refuse light-duty work – the most common is when this work is not within the restrictions given to you by the doctor.
Let’s say you work in landscaping, and you get a hernia while lifting a heavy bag of concrete. You file a workers compensation claim, and your doctor approves you for light-duty work, as long as you don’t lift anything heavier than 15 pounds for 2 weeks.
However, your employer starts demanding that, as part of your office work, you help load up trucks that are going to landscaping jobs, and asks you to lift heavy items as a part of your job duties. This is not within your doctor’s restrictions – so you can generally refuse this work.
Know Your Rights – Work With a Missouri Work Injury Lawyer
Still not sure if you have to go back to work after your workers’ compensation claim? An experienced Missouri work injury attorney can help you learn more about your rights and obligations. To make sure you understand what’s expected of you and that you get the compensation you deserve after being injured on the job, get in touch with an experienced attorney ASAP after a work-related accident or injury.
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