Can you be forced to go back to work after an injury before you’re ready?
You get injured on the job. It’s clear right away that the injury is serious enough that you’re going to be out of work for a while. You go to the hospital and get treatment, then go home to continue your recovery.
As you start to feel better, you also become a bit nervous. You’ve spoken with your employer and they have expressed that they’re eager to get you back on the job, but you’re concerned that they’re going to try to force you to come back before you’re ready. Can they do so?
They cannot. After all, some injuries are permanent. In other cases, workers need to have a new position to keep working, or they need vocational training to get a new job. In still other cases, disabled workers need reasonable accommodations to get back to work.
Your boss cannot assume that you’re in good enough condition to work. They can’t tell you that you have to come back before you’ve healed. That could put you in danger of an even worse injury or it could force you to work in a way that is massively detrimental to your comfort and long-term health. You only have to go back when you’re healed, and that’s a matter that should be handled by you and your medical team, not you and your employer.
When workers’ comp cases grow complicated, it’s very important to understand all of the options that you have. Don’t let your employer pressure you into anything that makes you uncomfortable. If you feel that you’re being unfairly treated, it may be time to speak to an attorney.