I hear this question at least one time virtually every single week. The injured worker in Pennsylvania receives restrictions from either his or her treating physician, or from the IME physician. She then returns to work b/c the employer alleges that they have work available within the restrictions. The injured worker returns to work, but the employer pushes them to do work that violates their light duty or modified duty work restrictions. The injured worker pushes through, and does the work in fear of being fired for failing to cooperate. In turn, they risk further injury to themselves and grant the employer the luxury of believing that they can essentially walk all over the injured worker.
Ideally, injured workers in Pennsylvania should stand up to their employer and explain that the work violates the restrictions. Most importantly, the injured worker should call their attorney to discuss the issue. Sometimes, it will be ok to perform some work outside the restrictions- if it’s an occasional thing that doesn’t risk further injury. But when it’s a more insidious and repetitive situation, the injured worker in Pennsylvania should stand up and speak out. Yes, this will likely agitate the employer, but the workers’ health is paramount. It is a tough situation b/c the workers realize that the employer is bearing down on them and potentially laying groundwork for a termination “for cause” after a work injury as the costs of business go up for the employer (ie, more claims, higher insurance premiums). The worker wants to keep performing and obeying her supervisor, but is being tugged the other way simultaneously.
I will listen to the specific facts in your case and advise accordingly.
Call me or email me any time for a free consult- Your Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Attorney- Michael W. Cardamone (215) 206-9068 or Michael@cardamonelaw.com
Helping injured workers in Pennsylvania is my passion.