Is Light-Duty Work a Better Alternative to Worker’s Comp?
When a person sustains a workplace injury, the resulting recovery time can vary from minutes to weeks. This largely depends on the severity of the injury and the circumstances in which the incident that led to the injury took place. In all cases, an employer must provide financial compensation to help pay for the medical costs of a workplace injury, but some will try to get around this. One way employers will try to undermine providing adequate worker’s compensation funding is by instead offering light-duty work.
This may sound like a poor alternative to a full amount of worker’s compensation as it is usually an attempt to get out of having to pay higher amount to an employee, however it is not something that should be written off right away. Light-duty work means that you, as an employee, would be required to do work that is less physically involved than you had previously been doing. This is not a change of job or title, but should instead be a transitional period until you are fully recovered.
Although the employer must still offer worker’s compensation, there are times when you may instead want to take the offer for light-duty work in exchange for a lower compensation amount. Legally, the employer must pay the same wages for light-duty work as normal work, so this kind of work might help you still garner a normal salary but reduce the risk of reinjury or stemming the healing process. This of course depends on the nature of the injury and projected recovery time.
If your employer is trying to take advantage of you by cutting back your hours, which is not allowed, or paying you less, than it is not a deal worth taking and instead a full worker’s compensation amount should be taken instead. When in doubt, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney who knows the law well and will help you make the best decision for yourself and your situation. To learn about how we at the Franco Law Firm can assist in your worker’s compensation case, please call (813) 872-0929.