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John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4466
Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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My friend works in a nursing home. While taking care of one

Customer Question

My friend works in a nursing home. While taking care of one of her patients, she hurt her back. They sent her to the doctor and then the doctor sent he to theraphy twice a week. Her job took her off third shift to first on light duty with a $2.00 cut a hour in pay. It's been three months now, and her employers are telling her if she wants to keep her job, then she needs to resume her former duties and get off light duty. The problem is she is afraid in injuring herself more than she is right now. She is dedicated to her patients, and to care for them properly, she needs her body in good shape to keep from hurting a patient. She's so afraid that she's going to lose her house and all the things she has because of getting hurt. The doctor or therapist has not released her. Her therapist said each person heals differently and some take more time than others. What are her options? Please give her some good advice. She works in Ohio not NC
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  John replied 7 months ago.

None of her options are really great, but here they are. First she can try to go back to her regular position, if it works out then she has a job of course. If it doesn't and she injures herself more, she ends up back on workers compensation possibly with a greater claim for wage benefits if she cannot do the light duty or if it is no longer available. The issue I would have with this is the possibility that the workers compensation insurer accuses her of non-compliance if she tries to go back to work absent doctors advice; this is a possibility but might not eventually come to fruition.

The other option is that she follow doctor's advice and not return. They can legally terminate employment at this time. But, that then triggers a larger portion of wage loss benefits against the workers compensation insurer. She would then be considered non-working,and them drying to dd which 1) means the insurer pays more benefits and cannot claim an offset for light duty and 2) that she must look for work with her medical restrictions and be able to prove the same (that she did look for work) to the agency. To me, option 1 is not worth the chance of exacerbating the injury and losing benefits because 0f not following dr. orders. Option 2 basically will get her terminated, but her benefits will increase as long as she does a work search and submits a good faith effort to submit apps to employers seeking someone with her physical capability.

Expert:  John replied 7 months ago.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as itis the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, ***** ***** wish you all the best with this matter.