REHIRING AN INJURED WORKER
By Kimberly Daise
Among the most crucial aspects of reducing lawsuits is an efficient way of rehiring the injured employee or operating a functional return-to-work system. This particular program can bring about substantial premium reductions and failure to set up rehiring practices will often lead to litigated cases and even higher payouts to the injured employee.
An employer needs to bear in mind that a worker is not obliged to return to work until a medical expert releases the employee to do so. It is essential that the medical expert, the injured worker, along with the employer make an effort to coordinate and know about the injured worker’s status at all times. Return-to-work authorization and giving of light-duty tasks are quite essential issues to consider.
Case litigation and attorney’s involvement in workers’ compensation cases is much less in instances where a worker returns to serve his employer. The employing company should know about all the procedures required for rehiring and, even though an employer is not obligated to rehire the injured employee in every situation, it is against the law to fire an injured worker just because he files a workers’ compensation claim or claims benefits. Firing a worker because of these can cause civil liability to the employer.
It is in the employer’s interest to re-hire when the option is available.