Revoke Light Duty?

If we created a position for someone on Worker's Comp so that we could accommodate their light duty restrictions (also with the assumption they would have been released to fully duty on 11/16/2010) are we able to revoke the offer of light duty if the restrictions have not been lifted? The person is not scheduled to see the doctor again until 12/21. Thanks!


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  • Normally, a WC recipient must take light duty work from their employer if it is available.  If it is not available, depending on the state, the worker may have to do a work search with other employers until they are ready to return to their regular job.

    My question is this: if you have made light duty available, why would you make it unavailable?  If the reason is because the employee's recovery period is longer than you would like it to be, I think you are open to an inquiry about WC retaliation.  Either you have light duty available, or you don't.  If you do, and the person is doing their light duty job, and appears to be acting in good faith with his or her doctor, then why would you revoke it?  That's not a question you want to answer if you do not have a distinct business reason for ending the light duty assignment.  "Keeping WC costs down" may not be the right business reason, either.

    I co-authored a peer-reviewed paper examining the relationship between lower back pain and absence.  The evidence suggested that early return to work resulted in higher likelihood of reinjury with a longer duration for recovery.  If the person's doctor has not cleared them to return and scheduled them out another month, then there is probably a medical reason for that delay.

    If you have reason to suspect either that the worker is being dishonest about their medical condition or that the doctor is a quack, you should consult a WC attorney in the state where the employee works.

  • Thank you for the advice....we have decided not to revoke the light duty offer.
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