Employer Fundamentals: Understanding Employment Law
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Employer Fundamentals: Understanding Employment Law

As a business owner, keeping informed about the finer points of employment law is important. If you're getting ready to hire your first employees, you need to be sure that you understand exactly what you can and cannot do. Don't risk getting yourself into legal trouble by asking the wrong question at the interview or making an off-hand comment that's considered legally unacceptable. I created this site to give you the basics of employment law expectations. I hope that the information here helps you to understand what you should and shouldn't do as you're interviewing and hiring your first staff members.


Employer Fundamentals: Understanding Employment Law

What to Know About Going Back to Work After Using Workers' Compensation

Irene Robertson

If you suffered an injury on the job that caused you to use workers' compensation, there will eventually be a point where you are asked to return to work. If you are not fully recovered from your injury, you may even be asked to return to a different type of job that has you performing new responsibilities that you are capable of. Here is what you know about returning to work in this situation.

The Law Requires a Description of Your New Responsibilities 

Be aware that you will not return to your job and be thrown into a situation where you must do whatever your employer tells you to do. If you are to return to your job with lighter responsibilities, then your employer must submit a description of the type of work that will be done. This helps ensure that your new temporary job description will be completely clear so that you know what kind of responsibilities you will be returning to perform. 

The written description is designed to help prevent employers from having you return to work and resume old responsibilities that are outside of your physical capabilities while recovering. The description should not only include the responsibilities of the job, but how many hours the employee will be working, and how much they will be paid for their job.

The New Job Description Must Be Approved by Your Doctor

Your employer will send the new job description to your doctor to approve of the work that you will be doing. Note that they must send the description to a doctor that has recently seen you and is able to verify the state of your recovery before making a decision. If the doctor feels that it is not appropriate for you to be performing the work that is being described, then they will not approve you to return to work while recovering from your injury.

For example, if you were working a job that involved physical labor and you suffered a back injury, a doctor would have an easier time approving you to return to a desk job that involved sitting during the day. If your employer wrote a job description that simply limited your hours or the amount of weight that you would need to carry, it is possible that the doctor would reject this description because it is still too dangerous.

A workers' compensation attorney can help you out if you feel you are not being treated fairly by your employer if you are returning to work during your recovery.