Minnesota law requires that employers make “reasonable” efforts to find a position for an employee who can no longer perform all or any of their duties in the wake of a work accident. For some employers, this can be achieved without too much rearranging, but for others, it’s next to impossible o find suitable work for the injured employee given their abilities, education and what’s needed for the business. So what happens if your employer can’t accommodate for your injuries, and what resources are available to you? We answer these questions and more in today’s blog.
Employer Can’t Find Light Duty
Employers aren’t allowed to discriminate or retaliate against an employee after an injury, but at the same time, they don’t need to bend to every whim to ensure that the worker can continue to perform duties and collect a paycheck. For example, if you’re working on a small roofing crew and you fall and break your neck, it’s likely that you’re not going to be able to continue working for that company given your injuries. While this is an extreme example, it underscores the idea that physical, educational or business limitations may render the company unable to find you light duty or suitable work after your injury.
So what are your options if you want to return to work, but your company doesn’t have light duty work or won’t be able to hire you back. Let’s start with a situation where you want to return to work, and eventually you will be able to return to your old job, but in the meantime here is no light duty work available while you recover. If this is the case, you’ll be able to file for and collect what’s known as wage loss benefits. These benefits provide workers with a portion of their normal wages while they are recovering. Your lawyer can help you file for and collect what you’re owed in wage loss benefits.
Now let’s look at the more complicated side of the question. What if you are injured and you won’t be able to return to work for the company? In this situation, you are also entitled to receive wage loss benefits, and you should apply for those while you figure out your next steps. After you’ve applied for wage loss benefits, you’ll want to sit down and think about where you want to take your career given the new circumstances. But before you make any decisions, know that you have some helpful options available to you.
After serious injuries, employees can apply for some services to help them return to gainful employment. For starters, you can be assigned a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant, or QRC for short. Their goal is to do everything in their power to help you get back into the workplace in a meaningful role. They can help you find positions given your skill set, they can help you get retraining benefits to learn new skills so that you are qualified for certain roles, or they can help you further your education if you are considering a job that requires a certain degree or certificate. Many of the benefits are available to you at no or reduced cost, because the ultimate goal of the workers’ compensation system is to get employees back into the workforce if they so choose.
Navigating this whole process can be complicated, which is why we recommend that you set up a consultation with a workers’ compensation firm like Hey Workers. We can help you collect wage loss benefits and ensure you maximize all the opportunities and benefits available to you while you recover from your work injury. If that sounds like something worth pursuing, pick up the phone and give our team a call today at (844) 439-9675.