1. Home
  2.  → 
  3. Workers' Compensation
  4.  → 5 steps to take when your employer pushes for a return to work

5 steps to take when your employer pushes for a return to work

Many employees in Ohio must take time off work due to injuries or illnesses they get on the job. Sometimes, employers pressure workers to return before they are ready.

When this happens, it is important to understand the rights and protections under workers’ compensation laws. Injured workers deserve proper care and should not be forced to return to work prematurely.

1. Communicate with your healthcare provider

The first step is to communicate with your healthcare provider. The doctor who has been treating the injury should evaluate whether you are medically fit to return to work. If the doctor believes you are not ready, they should provide a written statement outlining the reasons.

2. Inform your employer

Provide the written statement from the doctor to the employer. This will show that the decision to delay returning to work has a basis in medical advice. Most employers respect a doctor’s opinion, especially with documentation.

3. Know about temporary total disability benefits

If you cannot return to work, you may be entitled to temporary total benefits. These benefits replace a portion of lost wages during the period you cannot work due to the injury. Continue to follow the doctor’s treatment plan and attend all scheduled appointments to remain eligible for these benefits.

4. Consider light-duty work

In some cases, the doctor may approve a return to work with restrictions. This is often referred to as light-duty work. It involves tasks that are less physically demanding and accommodate the worker’s medical condition. It can be a way to return to the workplace without risking further injury.

5. Report any issues to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

If the employer pressures workers to return against medical advice, it may be necessary to report the issue to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The BWC oversees workers’ compensation claims and can intervene if an employer is not complying with the rules.

It is important for workers to prioritize their health and well-being when dealing with a work-related injury. By following these steps and understanding their rights, injured workers can reduce their chances of returning to work before they are ready.