Your work injury may prohibit you from doing the exact same job as before. Fortunately, you may still be able to return to work with some accommodations from your employer. There are also programs available for helping injured workers maintain their employment.
Below, learn more about vocational rehabilitation and modified work for injured employees, along with Ohio law on employers holding positions open for injured workers.
If you have been permanently injured from a work-related accident and need help pursuing your workers’ compensation claim, contact us for a free consultation today. Discussing your claim does not obligate you to hire us, but it can provide some important answers to your legal questions.
Return To Work Programs
From the start of the claims process, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) and your managed care organization will work with your doctor and employer to help you get back to work.
After sustaining a workplace injury and completing all required treatment from an authorized treating physician, employees may be released by their doctors to return to work on a light or restricted duty. The treating physician may also recommend that the worker complete a vocational rehabilitation program to assist with the transition.
The Remain at Work program provides rehabilitation for workers who missed less than seven days of work due to their injury. The goal is to reduce the impact the injury has on the worker’s ability to stay employed.
If you think you could benefit from vocational rehabilitation services, you can make a referral to your managed care organization.
If you enter a rehab program you may be eligible for living maintenance payments in place of temporary disability payments. If you need a new job, you may be eligible to receive rehabilitation wage loss payments to supplement your income.
Modified Job Duties
As you progress in your recovery, your doctor may allow you to return to work under certain restrictions. Your employer may be willing to modify your job duties to accommodate your restrictions in a way that allows you to continue to heal and work.
- Transitional work involves your real job duties for a short, defined period to assist you in recovering enough to be able to perform your original duties.
- Modified work removes obstacles that may prevent you from completing necessary functions of your job through adapting, altering or removal.
- Light duty work involves reduced physical requirements, either temporarily or permanently.
- Alternative work allows you to perform different work at the same company, utilizing your other skills and abilities.
What If You Cannot Work In The Same Field As Before?
If your workplace injury leaves you completely unable to return to your original job, your employer is not required to come up with an alternative work option. If your employer is willing to accommodate you, it may be a lower-paying position, which can create financial challenges for you and your family. Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible for working wage loss compensation, which is designed to replace a portion of the difference between your former and current wages.
If you cannot return to your former position or even the same field, you may need to find another type of work. This option presents numerous financial and physical challenges if you are restricted by permanent physical damage resulting from your work-related injury.
Do Employers Have To Hold Your Job Open?
Unfortunately, in the state of Ohio employers are not required to hold your job open for you if you suffer a workplace injury. However, an employer may not terminate you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer may only dismiss you for valid reasons that are not in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Call Our Trusted Attorneys For Help
After a workplace injury, you may be entitled to vocational rehab to help you reenter the workforce in a new role that you are able to perform with your new limitations. Additionally, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your injury, including compensation for your medical bills and lost wages.
Our Cincinnati workers’ compensation lawyers may be able to help you obtain your workers’ compensation benefits.
Call OAL Law to take advantage of our free consultation. You are under no obligation to hire us after that meeting. However, if you choose to hire us to assist you with your workers’ compensation claim, you will not be required to pay any attorney fees for us to represent you unless we are successful in obtaining benefits on your behalf.