Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our physical office is closed but we are here to help and remain open. Contact Mike at 717-471-2168 or Loraine 717-468-9411.

Why Vanasse Law?

See the many reasons Vanasse Law’s dedication, expertise and personal attention makes us THE best choice for injured workers in central Pennsylvania.

Learn More >

How Vanasse Law Can Maximize Your Results

Mike recovers maximum dollars on behalf of his clients.  His track record and personalized comprehensive approach means that he achieves the highest possible benefits for injured workers. He is one of only a few certified specialists in Worker’s Compensation Law, and he uses his knowledge to get the best case values for his clients.

Learn More >

Testimonials

“I am so thankful that I was referred to Vanasse Law for my workmans comp claim. Mike & Loraine put me at ease and the outcome was better than I expected…”

More Testimonials >

Get a Free Case Evaluation
Same-Day Response Time

*Required

I have read the disclaimer.
Privacy Policy

[recaptcha]

Archive for July, 2020

Have You Been Hurt at Work and Offered Light-Duty Work? Our Lancaster Hurt at Work Lawyers Handle Workers’ Comp Claims

Workers’ compensation is a self-explanatory expression; in other words, workers’ compensation law is designed to compensate employees who have been hurt at work. 

One particular aspect of workers’ compensation law concerns the situation in which an employee who has been hurt at work, after some time in rehabilitation for his or her injuries, obtains permission from the doctors to return to work with restrictions. In this case, he or she may be offered what is known as “light-duty” work. However, there is the risk that the employer may be asking the injured employee to perform duties that are beyond your doctors’ restrictions.

If you have been hurt at work, this is just one of many potential issues you’re facing, some of which are complicated. Therefore, you should immediately call the Lancaster hurt at work lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC to help you navigate this difficult time. 

Light-Duty Work

Light-duty work, sometimes known as modified-duty work, can be simply defined as work that is physically, or even mentally, less demanding than your typical job duties. Therefore, your employer will either offer you other types of work or alter your current work duties to fit within the restrictions placed upon you by your doctors.

If your employer cannot or will not alter your current duties, they may ask you to perform altogether new tasks that require less physical or mental challenges. Some of these new types of duties may include:

  • Performing basic office tasks
  • Performing administrative tasks
  • Taking inventory
  • Reporting on job sites
  • Monitoring surveillance cameras
  • Performing other types of security monitoring or security tasks
  • Performing machinery and/or equipment light maintenance
  • Supervising other employees
  • Training new employees
  • Organizing files
  • Other types of filing
  • Handling office reception for incoming customers or vendors
  • Answering phones
  • Inspecting fire extinguishers
  • Replenishing first aid cabinets
  • Performing simple assembly
  • Operating a forklift
  • Driving a company vehicle and running office errands
  • Sorting and delivering mail
  • Ordering supplies
  • Shipping, labeling, and wrapping

Light-duty work may also include working your typical job, but at a slower pace, or working your regular job with specific limitations.

Challenges of Light-Duty Work

As mentioned above, when it comes to light-duty work, there is a risk that your manager or supervisor will either directly, by requiring you, or indirectly, by passive-aggressive tactics (such as “well, if you don’t want to work….”), expect you to resume your pre-injury duties before your doctor has approved such an increased workload. 

Many employees will comply out of fear of losing bonuses, other types of discretionary benefits, or even their job in such situations. However, the risk is that prematurely resuming heavier duties will result in an injury setback or additional injuries, and, as discussed below, employers are not allowed to take any adverse action against you for claiming your workers’ compensation benefits.

Employees who find themselves in this position should consult with their doctors first, and contact the Lancaster hurt at work attorneys at Vanasse Law LLC if your doctors cannot help you resolve the issue. Your long-term health is your most important consideration, and the team at Vanasse Law LLC can help you protect your rights.

In a related situation, some employees, especially type-A personality employees, may decide on their own to return to normal work duties too early. After all, some of the light-duty work, as listed above, can become tedious and boring rather quickly. However, you must follow your doctors’ recommendations precisely. Again, the risk of additional injury is simply too significant.

Other Light-Duty Work Issues

Employees who have been injured on the job and offered light-duty work face issues other than the critical issue of resuming regular work duties.

Light-Duty Work Pay

Although the law varies from state to state, salaried employees are generally entitled to receive their usual salary while working under light-duty work restrictions. Hourly-wage employees are typically paid based upon the number of hours worked while on light duty.

Light-Duty Work Hourly Wages

However, when an hourly wage employee accepts light-duty work, the employee will generally be paid less than what they earned from their former duties. Fortunately, workers’ compensation is designed to pay the difference. Unfortunately, unscrupulous employers may deny having any light-duty work available, which means they do not have to pay either wages or workers’ compensation benefits. If you suspect this is the case regarding your employer, you should contact the Lancaster hurt at work lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC to help you protect your rights.

Original Job Reinstatement

Generally, an employer cannot take adverse action to penalize an employee for taking advantage of any workers’ compensation benefits. This includes denying employees the right to return to their original jobs once they have sufficiently recovered from their injuries and received the green light from their doctors to return to their pre-injury jobs.

Refusal of Light-Duty Work

Generally, an employee has the right to refuse an offer of light-duty work if the employee’s health care provider has not authorized it. If the doctors have cleared an employee to return with light-duty work restrictions, a refusal to do so by the employee could result in the loss of workers’ compensation benefits.

Employer’s Duty to Offer Light-Duty Work

Generally, employers are not obligated to offer light-duty work to employees seeking to return after a work-related injury. There are, however, exceptions to this rule, which vary from state to state.

Contact the Lancaster Hurt at Work Lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC for a Same-Day Response

Workers’ compensation law can be complicated and difficult to navigate on your own, but the laws are designed to protect your rights as an employee. Furthermore, workers’ compensation claims may not be the only option if you have been injured at work. The Lancaster hurt at work lawyers at Vanasse Law LLC will help you explore all of your options, protect your rights, and file any necessary claims on your behalf during this difficult time. If you need our help, please contact us online for a same-day response.