For most people, recovering from a work-related injury can take some time, and follows a progressive pattern. You may need time off for a while, before slowly transitioning back into your old position, or training for a new one. When you’re heading back into work after a time away for illness or injury, it can be stressful having to navigate everything again. This is especially true when you have lasting disability that may make it harder for you to do your job.
Under the law, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for your disability. However, that doesn’t mean that getting those accommodations will always be easy or straightforward. You may encounter some resistance when asking for modifications to your job duties, your desk or workspace area, and other aspects of your work life during and after your workers compensation case.
Because you are returning from a documented injury, you don’t have to worry about considering whether or not to disclose your disabilities, like some people. Your employer already has the information from your doctor, about what kinds of things may make it easier for you to do your job again. These things can be temporary, if you are still expected to continue healing (e.g. broken wrist in a cast), or can be permanent, if your recovery is considered to be complete (e.g. amputated foot). Depending on your situation, anything from a new ergonomic desk chair, to more frequent breaks may be called for.
The most important thing to know is that the law is on your side, when making requests for reasonable accommodations. If you’re not sure what is reasonable or not for your situation, discuss this with your doctor, and your Huntington Beach workers compensation attorney, so you know exactly what you can ask for. Be nice when talking with your employer, but also be firm; remember that you are doing your best to return to your job, even if you may need a couple of things modified.
If you encounter any kind of pushback, when requesting accommodations, don’t hesitate to contact your attorney. If you had an experienced lawyer for your workers comp case, they will be able to advocate for you, returning to work under your legal entitlements. It can be scary, going back to your job, or starting a new job, after a period of illness or injury, but you have the right to earn a living too. With your attorney’s help, you can put together a reasonable accommodation letter for your employer, outlining your needs.
Want to learn more about how to return to work after injury, or how to request accommodations? Reach out to us at Jackson & Jackson today, and ask for your free consultation.