Question: I was injured at work last year. My job involved a lot of heavy lifting and I hurt my back. I have been out of work since then and have been receiving workers compensation checks. My doctor just released me to return to work with some limits on how much I can lift. I worked the night shift when I got hurt and I really liked the guys I worked with, especially my supervisor. My employer just sent me a letter telling me that there is a day shift light duty job sorting paper and mail in the office and that my doctor approved the job. They want me to report to work next week. I don’t like office work. It would bore me to death. I also don’t want to work the day shift. Do I have to go back to the office job? D.K.
Answer: Since your own doctor has approved this job, I believe that you have an obligation to report to the job. Even though the job involves a different shift and you would find the job “boring”, your failure to report to the job could be construed as bad faith and would provide the employer with a basis to file a petition to stop paying your benefits. While it appears that your past work history involves work that is more labor intensive than the office job you are being offered, I would think that the light duty office job would stall fall within your vocational capabilities. Where an offered job is both medically and vocationally suitable, you have an obligation to make a good faith effort to perform the job.
If you’ve suffered a work injury and have questions about your claim, contact me at [email protected] or call (570) 347-1011 for a free consultation.