Can my employer legally refuse to pay me for only 4 hours out of an 8 hour shift per day when my doctor pulled me off?

UPDATED: Jun 5, 2014

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Can my employer legally refuse to pay me for only 4 hours out of an 8 hour shift per day when my doctor pulled me off?

I work for the Post Office and have an accepted OWCP/DOL case. I have had surgery on both hands under this same case for the last 2 years. I went back to work limited duty from the end of last year to early this year (a period of 3 months total), at which time my doctor pulled me off do to worsening of my condition in left hand. DOL made me file a new claim and has refused to pay me more than 4 hours a day since. They now have only authorized medical on “new” claim for original surgery. They state ” You were able to work for 2 months and we don’t understand why now you can’t. You were not authorized by us to stop working so you basically took yourself off without pay.”

Asked on June 5, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Regardless whether you took time off because your doctor told you to or because you felt like going swimming, if you were not working, your employer has no responsibility to pay you.  You should explore, with your doctor, your options under short-term disability (if available) and FMLA. 

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