No one feels ready to handle the responsibilities of a job while recovering from an injury. Yet a recovered worker has good reason for returning to the workplace. Still, that does not mean that the same worker would not face any problems, while preparing for that return.
Signals that the time to return to work has arrived
The treating doctor tells the patient that he or she can return to work. If that same patient has filed a personal injury claim, refusal to follow the doctor’s recommendation could mean a loss of the chances for recovering any lost income.
What an employer must do, when a recovered employee returns to the workplace:
Although that returning employee does not have to get his or her old job back, the employer does have to offer any reasonable accommodations. In other words, the employer must accommodate the employee’s new needs, the ones created by the nature of the employee’s recent injury.
What sort of request would be viewed as unreasonable?
• One that forced the employer to suffer an undue hardship
• One that increased the costs for which the employer was financially responsible
• One that had a severe impact on a business, especially a small business.
• Any request that called-for the disruption of a collective agreement.
• Any request that put the safety of other employees at risk.
No employer needs to make a modification that threatens to impede an employee’s ability to carry-out a bona fide occupational requirement. Personal injury lawyer in Airdrie knows that such a requirement might be stated in a job standard, one that is connected to the level of the employee’s on-job performance.
Alternatively, if an employer felt that maintenance of a job standard was necessary, in order to fulfill a work-related purpose, then maintenance of that same standard would qualify as a bona fide occupational requirement.
Finally, if maintenance of a job standard was viewed by an employer as necessary, in order to accomplish a work-related purpose, then the standard’s maintenance could get classed as a bona fide occupational requirement.
A modification that employers frequently agree-to:
Often, when an employee that has recovered from an injury first returns to the workplace, he or she may not feel ready to work a full, 40-hour week. Consequently, employers frequently agree to let the returning worker complete fewer hours each week.
Some companies have a rule, regarding the number of hours that any employee must work, in order to qualify for health insurance. When that is the case, then the returning worker would probably need to take that fact into consideration. After all, the worker’s past injury serves as a strong reminder of the value attached to some form of health insurance. Moreover, long-term changes are hard to implement.