It would be great if when you were injured, you never had to go back to work while you recovered. Unfortunately, this is never the goal of the insurance company. In fact, the purpose of the worker’s compensation system is for you to be back to work.
What happens when you are asked to go back to work and you do not believe you can return to work? Can you refuse to work?
The answer is yes…..but only in certain situations. If you have been injured and taken completely out of work by your authorized treating physician you would not have to go back to work until the doctor has either released you to a regular duty or placed you on duty work restrictions.
If you have been placed on light duty work by your doctor, the insurance company would then have to find a suitable light duty job and have the doctor sign off on the job approving it as suitable and then file a form WC-240. Lastly they must give you 10 days notice to return. If all of this happens, you must return to work. (If the job is not the job on the description, you are allowed to not perform the job. Contact an attorney before you make this decision).
If you have been released to regular duty by your authorized treating physician, then you must return to work until you find that another doctor has either taken you out of work completely or placed you once again on light duty.
Either way, if you have been released to light duty and have been asked to go back to work and you feel that you are not able or if you have been released to regular duty, it is important that you contact an attorney to make sure you are protected.