Are You Required to Perform Light Duty if You File a Workers Comp Claim in Atlanta?

A lot of people who file workers’ compensation claims in Georgia do physically demanding work. This makes sense. The kind of people who are likely to get injured at work is those who do physical labor. You wouldn’t expect someone who works at a desk to get hurt at work.

While it does happen, it’s nowhere near as common as workers comp claims for people who do physical labor. For example, if someone is a truck driver or construction worker, you’d expect that, at some point, they’d get injured. You don’t think that way about a secretary or receptionist. 

It also makes sense that, at some point, an employer would want to get their employee back to work sooner rather than later. As long as someone is out of work on workers’ comp, they can’t contribute to their employer’s bottom line. It makes more sense, for the company, to get that employee back to work. If this means they return to work doing a different job than before, that’s okay.

Think about it this way. If a company has a need for someone to do security monitoring, they have two choices. They can pay a new employee full-time wages to do this. Or, they can have someone on workers comp return to work on light duty. This would save them a ton of money. They’d rather have someone already employed by the company fill this role.

A lot of people are confused about how light-duty works in Atlanta, Georgia. This is why you should call and talk to an experienced workers comp lawyer in Atlanta sooner rather than later. 

What is Light Duty?

Light duty can be defined in different ways. It really depends on what kind of company you work for. It also depends on what kind of work you did. If you performed a physical job and get hurt, you’ll go out on worker’s compensation. At some point, however, you may get called back to work to perform light duty. For example, if you were a factory worker, you may be asked to come back and perform administrative duties.

Some common examples of light-duty positions include:

  • Security monitoring
  • Administrative jobs
  • Inventory management
  • Typing and filing
  • Supervisory work

It may seem strange for a physical laborer to be expected to perform this kind of job. However, if you’re offered light duty in Georgia, you need to consider giving it a shot. If you don’t, you can lose your worker’s comp benefits.

Can You Refuse Light Duty in Georgia?

There is no law that says you must accept the light-duty position. However, if you refuse to even try this new position, expect your worker’s comp benefits to be terminated. This will happen immediately. As soon as the insurance company learns that you’ve refused the light-duty position, your checks will stop coming. And, the only way to get them reinstated is to have a judge approve your benefits. This can take several months. That means you’ll go without any income for quite some time.

What you should do is at least try the light-duty job. Being on worker’s compensation is not a paid vacation. It is benefits that are supposed to last until you’re able to return to work. If your employer finds an alternate position that you can perform, even with your injury, then there’s no need to remain on worker’s comp. You’ll continue to get medical treatment. However, you won’t receive replacement wages.

What is the Law Regarding Light Duty in Atlanta?

In Georgia, you need to at least try to light-duty position in order to retain your benefits. The rule states that you must perform the light-duty job for at least eight (8) hours. If your employer doesn’t offer a full-time shift, this means you might have to report to work for at least two (2) days. If, after 8 full hours, you can’t perform the job, notify your employer. If they can verify this, you’ll be able to resume your worker’s comp claim.

You also can’t do the job for more than 15 days. If you do the job for 15 days, you’ve basically shown that you are able to work. You won’t continue to receive replacement wages if you’re able to work. If you aren’t sure whether you should continue with the light-duty position, give your Atlanta workers comp lawyer a call. Schedule your free initial consultation so you can find out what your best options are.