Many workers are injured while on the job in Atlanta every year. These injured workers may take time off from work in order to make a recovery, and when their doctor says that it’s okay, these injured workers may return to the workforce. But returning to the workforce isn’t always as easy as it sounds. In some cases, the worker may need a reasonable accommodation in order to perform his or her job duties after an injury. Other times, and injured worker may be able to return to the workforce, but only in a lesser capacity than prior to his or her workplace injury. These challenges can be tough for an injured worker.
If a worker has been injured on the job in Georgia, and the injured worker has made sufficient recovery so that the worker can return to work, employers have a duty to make every effort to make reasonable accommodations for the injured worker under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Workers who return to work with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits their ability to do their job may be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and thus they are most likely entitled to reasonable accommodations in the workplace.
For instance, an injured worker who is injured on a job site and has to take workers’ compensation while making a recovery, could return to work but still be partially disabled, or unable to return to the same type of work that he or she did prior to the workplace accident or injury. Because the injured worker is able to return to work, but is less able to do his or her job after the injury, the employer has a duty to make reasonable accommodations for the worker to return to the workforce in a job that he or she is able to do. The employer can help the injured worker to perform his or her job by providing a reasonable accommodation.
Reasonable accommodations can take many forms, and which reasonable accommodations are appropriate in the given circumstance depends upon the injured worker’s condition and ability when here she returns to the workforce. A few examples of typical reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to:
-Providing the injured worker with assistive technology, auxiliary aids or services, e.g., interpreters, translators, note takers or transcribers, readers, a TTY service to be able to use the telephone, etc.
-Modifying the worker’s workspace to make it more readily accessible for the injured worker.
-Restructuring the injured worker’s job so that he or she is able to perform the required job duties.
-Making reasonable modification to workplace rules or policies to accommodate the injured worker’s abilities, such as adjusting examination time or modifying employee review criteria for the injured worker. .
-Moving the worker to a part-time or flexible work schedule.
-Reassigning the worker to a vacant alternate position.
-Providing the worker with special equipment or devices to perform his or her job duties.
-Providing qualified readers or interpreters for the injured worker.
In order to obtain a reasonable accommodation, the injured worker needs to request a reasonable accommodation from his or her employer. Most employers have some sort of reasonable accommodation form that the injured worker must complete and submit to the employer. Reasonable accommodations are generally granted by employers so long as they are reasonable requests. Employers do not have to provide the injured worker with accommodations that would place an undue hardship on the employer.
Workers Who Return to Work in Lesser Capacity May Be Eligible for Additional Benefits
When an injured worker is able to return to the workforce, but in a lesser capacity than prior to his or her injury, the worker is likely to get paid less in the new position. In such a case, the injured worker may be entitled to additional workers ‘ compensation benefits to make up the difference for the lost wages. These benefits are sometimes referred to as workers’ compensation reduced earning benefits.
It is unfortunate to be injured while on the job. It can be tough to make a recovery, and it is also tough to seek workers’ compensation benefits to support yourself financially as you make your recovery. While you may be overjoyed about being able to return to the workforce after a prolonged injury, you might not physically be able to perform the same type of work that you used to before your workplace accident or injury.
If you are a Georgia worker who was injured on the job and had to seek workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses and lost wages, and you were approved to return to work by your doctor but you were only able to work in a lesser capacity than prior to your injury, you should speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. If you are entitled to workers’ compensation reduced earning benefits, the skilled and compassionate lawyers at Bader Law firm, LLC want to make sure that you get the benefits you are entitled to.
Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer: Bader Law Firm, LLC
Too many Atlanta workers suffer injuries while on the job. A workplace injury can be severely debilitating, and can up-end your life. Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits are available to most Georgia employees who are injured while on the job. While it is always desirable for an injured worker to make sufficient recovery so that he or she can return to the workforce, sometimes the injured worker can only return to the workforce if he or she is given a reasonable accommodation. In other cases, a worker might be unable to return to work in the same capacity as before the accident, and may only be able to secure a job with less responsibility, or physical strain. When you need help after returning to the workforce, the professionals at Bader Law Firm, LLC can assist you with every aspect of your workers’ compensation benefits claim. Reach out to us today.