What to do if I hurt my back non-job related and the doctor has given me a light duty excuse for the next week but my boss wants me to work regular truck unloading anyway because someone is on vacation?

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What to do if I hurt my back non-job related and the doctor has given me a light duty excuse for the next week but my boss wants me to work regular truck unloading anyway because someone is on vacation?

If I work voluntarily regular job ignoring excuse and get hurt will workman’s comp apply or will I be considered to blame and be disqualified?

Asked on October 2, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1 Your employer does not need to put you on light duty an employer's obligation to make reasonable accommodations for disabilities does not require them to let employees out from the normal responsibilities or duties of their job. The employer is allowed to insist your do your regular job, and could terminate you if you can't or won't.
2 If you work while knowing that you could injure yourself working and do injure yourself, yes, you may be considered to be at blame, at least in part, for the injury, which could affect your claims for compensation.
3 If you are eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act unpaid leave, you may wish to take it for a week or so losing a week of pay is better than injuring yourself or losing the job. You can find whether you and your company are covered by looking at the criteria on the U.S. Dept. of Labor website. Briefly, the company needs to have at least 50 employees and you must have worked there a year.
4 If you have sick days, you may wish to use them to stay out of work.


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