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Ocga 349240 Effect Of Refusal Of Suitable Employment By Injured Employee Attempting Or Refusing To Attempt Work With Restrictions

(a)  If an injured employee refuses employment procured for him or her and suitable to his or her capacity, such employee shall not be entitled to any compensation, except benefits pursuant to Code Section 34-9-263, at any time during the continuance of such refusal unless in the opinion of the board such refusal was justified.

(b)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section, if the authorized treating physician releases an employee to return to work with restrictions and the employer tenders a suitable job to the employee within those restrictions, then:

(1)  If the employee attempts the proffered job and is unable to perform the job for more than 15 working days, then weekly benefits shall be immediately reinstated, and the burden shall be upon the employer to prove that the employee is not entitled to continuing benefits; or

(2)  If the employee refuses to attempt the proffered job, then the employer may unilaterally suspend benefits upon filing with the board the appropriate form with supporting documentation of the release to return to work with restrictions by the authorized treating physician, the tender of a suitable job within those restrictions, and a statement that the employee did not attempt the proffered job.  Under those circumstances, the burden shall shift to the employee to prove continuing entitlement to benefits.

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