Maryland Workers Comp Light Duty

Workers Comp Light Duty or Restricted Duty in Maryland

See also Workers Comp doctor returned me to work

If you have been seriously injured in a work accident and as a result have been taken out of work by a doctor you will likely be returned to work in a light duty capacity or under restricted duty.  Often workers comp light duty will involve weight lifting limitations, standing limitations, or limit in work hour limitations.

Before or upon the workers comp light duty return the injured worker should know their rights and be prepared to make a decision if and when those rights are put into question by over zealous employers.

If the injured worker is not represented at the time of their return to work and feels as though they will have difficulty with the return then obtaining legal counsel is ordinarily in their best interest.  Especially considering Maryland workers compensation attorney’s do not charge a fee unless money is recovered.

For a FREE consult call Baltimore workers compensation attorney and personal injury attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh now!  Call Us, Click to email  or just fill out the form at the bottom of the page and Mr. Rodabaugh will contact you!

An Employer must provide true workers comp light duty

Regularly, employers indicate to the employee that they workers comp light duty available for the employee.  When the employee returns to work he or she is pressured into performing tasks that are outside of the limitations the doctor ordered.  While some flexibility on the injured workers part may be in his or her best interest, the employee must be careful not to injure themselves simply to appease their employer.

It is NOT ok when an employer does not provide workers comp light duty!

Anyone with a serious injury should not be required to return to work and push their physical limitations to a point where they could further injure themselves.  Maryland workers compensation laws are not designed to force the injured worker to perform tasks that could lead to further injury and stunt the progress of medical treatment.  Workers Comp light duty is looked at as both beneficial to the employer and the employee.  The employee is able to return to an occupation, provide for themselves, and contribute to society.  The employer is able to potentially save thousands of dollars on workers comp premiums and in the process receive labor from an employee.

It is NOT ok when an employer does not provide TRUE workers comp light duty!

If you are reading this then you may be in the situation as follows:  Your doctor is indicating you can return to work but you can not lift over a certain amount of weight, stand or sit for any extended period of time, work for more than x amount of hours, or can not do specific tasks.  The employer indicates they can accommodate the restrictions and as the injured worker you return to work on workers comp light duty.  Eventually there is pressure to perform more than what the doctors advise such as lift 25 lbs when the restrictions clearly indicate no more than 15 pounds.  The pressure to perform “more” may come from other employees, a supervisor, or simply a miscommunication between workmans comp and the employer.  Regardless of where the pressure came from it is up to the employee to stand up for themselves if what is being offered is not true workers comp light duty.

What is the injured worker responsibility in Maryland when workers comp light duty is offered?

Under Maryland’s workers compensation laws the injured worker must return on workers comp light duty if the employer is able to accommodate the restrictions.  If the employee chooses to not return on workers comp light duty their payments will stop and they will possibly be terminated.  The injured worker is not required to do more than the treating doctor indicates unless the Workers Compensation Commission has issued an Order to the contrary to what the treating physician has stated.

Unfortunately the injured worker will have to return to any offer of workers comp light duty as long as it is within their physical restrictions.  This could include a construction worker that has to file papers in the office, a truck driver that has to count paper clips, or a maintenance man that has to answer phones.

If the hourly rate of pay is reduced the employee may still be obligated to return to the new job depending on the amount of the reduction as well as other factors that come in to play.  Many injured workers are reluctant to take such jobs which ultimately leads to their benefits being cut off and a termination letter from the employer.

What could happen if the injured worker decides not to return to their job on workers comp light duty?

This is often the most difficult scenario for those who were hurt at work as they must decide to put their financial health over and above their physical health but maintain employment OR place their physical health over their financial health and possibly lose their job and suffer financial distress.  A workers compensation attorney can not make this decision for the injured worker.  To do so would be presumptuous.  An attorney can only advise as to the best case scenario and the worst case scenario under Maryland law.

If the injured worker decides it is best not to return on workers comp light duty there is a chance the workers attorney can obtain lost wages by going to a hearing before the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission.  There is also a chance the lost wages or temporary total benefits are not reinstated, or the employee loses his or her job.

If an employer is offering what they believe is an accommodation then it is usually in the best interest of the employee to attempt workers comp light duty.  To be sure, contacting a workers compensation attorney for a free consultation is a good option.

Can a Maryland employer fire the injured worker for not returning on workers comp light duty?

Maryland is an at will state which means an employer can terminate an employee for almost any reason.  There are, however, some protections under the law.  In certain circumstances an employee is protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act which could provided 12 weeks of job security.  An employer can also not terminate an employee based on age, race, gender, religion, disability, and others.  For legal advice a labor and employment attorney should be contacted.

For a free consultation call Baltimore workers compensation attorney and personal injury attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh now!  Call Us, Click to email  or just fill out the form at the bottom of the page and Mr. Rodabaugh will contact you!


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Maryland workers compensation attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh and his office offers information about Personal Injury law and Workers’ Compensation for informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein constitutes formal legal advice. If you need the advice of a Maryland workers compensation lawyer, please contact him today. He has offices throughout the state and various convenient meeting locations.  Each and every case needs to be evaluated before legal advice can be provided.  Under no circumstance should the information on this website be considered medical advice. This is an attorney’s website and is not affiliated with any government agency or government entity of any kind.
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Workers Comp Light Duty
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Workers Comp Light Duty
Injured workers should know about workers comp light duty before returning to positions being offered. Sometimes the light duty offered is not true light duty.
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Work Injury Maryland
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