I see. Thank you for clarifying the situation for me, John.
It appears this is a new injury or an aggravation of a previous injury for which your current employer should provide WC benefits to you.
While the employer can refuse to provide modified duty where they do not have that available, they must typically compensate you for the time missed due to the injury or aggravation of the injury you previously sustained, so it does not appear they have reasonable grounds to deny compensation to you.
In addition, the facts you have described may involve unlawful retaliation for filing a new worker's comp claim, which is prohibited by state law. The fact that your restrictions were greater when you sustained the new injury and the employer was permitting you to work indicates they do have work available and are unreasonably refusing to permit you to return to work which could constitute retaliation.
Because it appears there may be two violations of law involved here, I would promptly retain a local worker's comp attorney, and look for one who also takes worker's comp retaliation claims. WC attorneys usually work on a contingency fee basis so there should be no fee unless they prevail on your behalf.
The state and local bar associations can provide attorney referrals for you if you need one.
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