Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation: Understanding Work Restrictions
Most injured workers want to get back on the job as soon as they can. Unfortunately, the nature of an accident may prevent you from resuming some or all duties of your previous position. To account for this, injured employees may be able to return to their job with work restrictions or a light duty assignment. Here, our Milwaukee, WI workers’ comp lawyers explain the key things you need to know about work restrictions in Wisconsin.
Work Restrictions Must Be Carefully Documented
Work restrictions must be documented by a qualified medical professional. Whether you can return to work with restrictions should be decided by you and your doctor. Should a doctor clear you to go back to work with restrictions, you need to ensure you have comprehensive documentation. Some common examples of work restrictions include:
- A modified schedule;
- Seated-only work;
- No lifting of heavy objects; and
- Limitations on physical activity.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits Will Account for Reduced Wages
If you are returning to work on a limited basis — whether on a part-time schedule or in a different position — your employer does not necessarily have to pay you full-time wages. Fortunately, workers’ comp benefits can make up the difference in your income. As explained by the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are available to injured workers who have seen a reduction in their hours or reduction in their wages due to restrictions.
Employers Have a Duty to Respect Work Restrictions
A medically documented work restriction is not an optional guidance from employers — your company must respect your restrictions. Pressuring an employee to do tasks they are not physically capable of performing is a very serious safety issue. It is also a violation of a worker’s legal rights. Wisconsin employers should take reasonable steps to accommodate an employee’s work restrictions and help them find a suitable, alternative position.
You Have a Right to Recovery from Your Injuries
Workers who were seriously injured on the job have the right to take the time they need to recover from their injuries. Make sure your doctor understands your injuries and your current condition so you can get the work restrictions you need. When you return to the job, be sure to get a copy of your work restriction to your employer. You are not required to perform work that is outside your restrictions. Do not rush the process. Take the time you need to heal.
Discuss Your Case with Our Milwaukee Workers’ Comp Lawyer Right Away
At Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf, our Wisconsin workers’ comp lawyers have been fighting to protect the rights of injured workers since 1948. If you have questions about work restrictions, we can help. To request a free, no strings attached review of your case, please contact us today at (415) 257-2667. From our law office in Milwaukee, we represent injured workers throughout Southern Wisconsin, including in Racine, Kenosha, Waukesha, West Allis, and Shorewood.