Going Back to Work after an Accident in California: What Happens if My Employer Assigns Me to a Job Duty I Cannot Perform?

California law (Labor Code § 3700) mandates that businesses and nonprofit organizations must prove workerscompensation coverage to employees. Suffer a physical injury on the job? You can file for benefits and take time to recover from your injuries. If you are like most workers, you will probably want to get back on the job once you are capable of doing so. 

What happens if your employer tries to put you back into a job position that is too demanding for your post-accident medical needs? You have important legal rights. Within this blog post, our Fresno workers’ compensation attorneydiscusses your options if you cannot medically perform the job duties that you have been assigned after a work accident in California

You Should Show Your Employer Your Doctor’s Medical Restrictions 

As you attempt to make a post-accident return to the workplace in California, it is crucial that you clearly communicate any remaining medical limitations to your employer. In the vast majority of cases, a doctor’s note is the best way to do this. With comprehensive documentation, you can present concrete evidence of your medical restrictions. 

It is imperative that you make sure your employer is fully aware of these restrictions to avoid miscommunications or misunderstandings about your ability to perform specific job tasks. Remember, the documentation not only keeps you safe from further injury but also sets clear expectations between you and your employer.

You Can Refuse the Job Duties—Always Do So in Writing With Emphasis on Limitations

In the event you’re assigned a job duty that contradicts your doctor’s instructions, know that you are within your rights to refuse under California law. That being said, it is not enough to just verbally communicate this information. You should put it in writing—and by doing so, emphasize the medical restrictions set by your doctor. This serves two purposes: 

  • It serves as tangible proof of your communication; 
  • It can provide legal protection should disputes arise later. 

You May Have a Viable Legal Claim Under California Labor Code 132(A)

If you find yourself facing retaliation from your employer for not performing a task that falls beyond your doctor’s restrictions, California Labor Code 132(a) may offer legal recourse. The code protects employees from discriminatory actions by their employers on the grounds of a work-related injury. Violations can include firing, demoting, or any unfair treatment towards the employee because they filed or intended to file a workerscompensation claim. If you have any questions about LC 132(A) claims, an experienced Fresno workers’ comp lawyer can help. 

Set Up a Confidential Consultation With a Fresno, CA Workers’ Comp Attorney Today

Joseph C. Yrulegui is a workerscompensation lawyer committed to protecting the rights and interests of clients in California. If you have any questions about your rights under the law, please feel free to contact our Fresno law officetoday for a confidential appointment.