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Workers' compensation and restrictions when returning to work

When a San Jose worker is injured on the job, it is possible that he or she will eventually recover sufficiently to return to work. However, there are often questions as to what kind of work can be done upon one's return. This is why knowing the rules in California for restrictions with regard to workers' compensation claims is important.

If the primary treating physician tells a worker that it is possible to return to work with restrictions, then the employer will need to give work that comply with those restrictions. For example, certain assignments might be altered, the amount of time to complete these assignments could change, or a worker can be given equipment to assist with doing the work. In some cases, the employer might not have available work. If that is the case, workers' compensation law says that the worker does not have to go back to work.

If a worker who is told he or she can work without restrictions, the employer is generally required to give the person the same job he or she had before suffering the injury at the same pay. In this case, the employer can require that the worker take the job. There is no specific time at which this can happen. It could be soon after the workplace injury or long afterwards when the person's condition has sufficiently improved.

If an employee has been given work that is a violation of the restrictions, the worker should speak to the employer and explain the restrictions. The worker cannot be forced to take an assignment that violates the restrictions. The worker should tell the employer that the work is being refused. Doing this in writing is advisable. An employer who issues a threat of action for not taking the assignment might be in violation of the law. A worker for whom there is no job that falls into the restrictions can seek and obtain total disability benefits.

Restrictions are an important factor for a work accident victim to consider when trying to get back to work. When receiving workers' compensation benefits, it is essential to have a grasp on restrictions and how employers are legally required to treat a worker who has been approved to work with restrictions in place. Those who face a problem with this or anything related to workers' compensation can speak with a legal professional who may be of assistance.

Source:, "Chapter 6. Working for Your Employer After Injury, page 27," accessed on July 31, 2017

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