You can find plenty of information online about how to handle a workers’ compensation claim in California. From filing paperwork on time to interacting with your employer’s insurance company, submitting a worker’s comp claim can feel like a full-time job. However, there is one part of the workers’ compensation process that leaves a huge information void.
When do you know it is time to return to work?
Let’s review a few tips for returning to work after an injury.
The Benefits of Getting Back on the Job
Your doctor has given you the green light to go back to work. Here’s why it is beneficial to get back to the daily grind.
Speeds Up the Recovery Process
Recovering from a work-related injury can mean days, if not weeks off your feet. Your muscles and respiratory system do not get the work that they need to be strong. Even if you are limited at work, getting back on the job speeds up your recovery process.
Prevents Emotional Issues
Isolation is not the best medicine for someone who is recovering from a workplace injury. An extended period away from your friends at work can cause emotional harm. The sooner you can get back to work, the stronger your mind will be.
Keeps You Professionally Sharp
Just a few weeks away from work can put you behind professionally. From new workplace procedures to learning new job skills, a prolonged absence from work can put you behind the rest of your professional peers.
Tips for Getting Back to Work
The first and perhaps the most important tip is never go back to work before it is time to return to the workplace. Your doctor has to submit a written document that clears you for a return to work.
Here are some other tips to help you return to the workplace.
Keep Your Employer in the Information Loop
After you devise a recovery plan with your physician, let your employer know about the plan. Staying in touch with your employer goes a long way towards ensuring the transition back to work goes smoothly.
Do What You Can
Not only will your doctor clear you to go back to work, but your physician will also provide your employer with detailed instructions that explain what you can do, and what you cannot do. Make sure to do what you can do and avoid work tasks that put you in direct violation of your physician’s orders. Keep a copy of your workplace restrictions with you while you are at work.
According to federal law, employers cannot retaliate against employees that file workers’ compensation claims. Retaliation comes in many forms, including the scheduling of fewer hours and reducing hourly pay. When you return to work after an injury, make sure to keep records that describe how your employer treated you.
Be Open to a New Professional Role
You might get back to work, but the work that you do might be different than what you did before your injury. You have to be flexible when it comes to returning to work. A change in your professional responsibilities can be a good thing for you both physically and emotionally.
Continue Working with an Employment Attorney
If you hired an employment lawyer to handle your workers’ compensation claim, stay in touch with your attorney when you return to work. Having access to a highly trained employment lawyer can prevent some of the issues that commonly arise whenever an employee gets back on the job after an injury.
Whether you are in the early stage of filing a workers’ compensation claim or you are about to go back to work, contact the PLBSH law firm at (800) 435-7542 to get the legal support that you deserve.