What are the policies concerning employees returning from workers’ compensation leave? Since each state administers its own workers’ compensation program, there might be variations in coverage and benefits. The federal government also administers its own program for federal workers.
Employers should refer to their state’s workers’ compensation laws. This will allow them to figure out the rights of employees returning after an office injury or illness.
FMLA and Returning from Workers’ Compensation Leave
If an employee on workers’ compensation leave receives the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), he or she is protected under that law. FMLA provides staff members with up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, which might accompany workers’ compensation leave. Under the FMLA, employers can not require FMLA-qualified employees to go back to work in a different position prior to their 12 weeks of leave being exhausted. Upon going back to work, these workers need to be returned to their comparable or former position.
Returning From Workers’ Compensation Leave to Light-Duty or Alternate Position
When an employee is provided a light-duty or alternate position, he or she has a decision to make. He or she can figure out whether to accept the position or to make use of FMLA leave. Workers’ compensation benefits might stop if FMLA leave is exhausted. Staff will have certain right if they accept the provided position. The staff member can be returned to his or her original position when cleared to return to work without restrictions. The affected staff member can also be returned to an equivalent position.
If injury or illness certifies as a disability under the ADA, the company should supply the employee with reasonable accommodations. This would allow the staff to perform their necessary job functions. However, the employee may be unwilling to move to another position that better accommodates the disability. It’s noteworthy that a new position does not need to be created as an accommodation, per the ADA. This would suggest that if a new position were the only option, the company would not need to allow the employee to return to work.
We understand that this information can be hard to navigate through, so we want to continue assisting you. Speak with one of our TPG Insurance Services specialists by calling 909.466.7876 today! Also, for more practical information regarding returning from workers’ compensation leave after injury or illness in the workplace check out our Workers’ Compensation content.