If you suffered a serious injury on the job, your doctor may recommend time off from work duties until you make a full recovery. While being hurt isn’t something to celebrate, you may enjoy being away from the daily grind for a while.
However, it is not uncommon for injured employees to return to work early because they are either getting bored at home or afraid to lose their job if more time elapses. Even though the main goal is to return to the workplace as soon as you have healed, it is never a good idea to go back to work until your doctor gives you permission.
Here are several reasons why you shouldn’t return to work early after sustaining an on-the-job injury:
- You could further injury yourself – There is a reason why your doctor determined a timeline of your return is because your body will be ready to return to work following a workplace injury. Even if you start feeling better sooner than anticipated, your injuries have yet to completely heal. If you re-injure yourself, not only could it take you even longer to recover, but you could also put your worker’s compensation benefits in jeopardy.
- You could lose your workers’ compensation benefits – Your employer’s insurance company is only looking out for its own best interests, which means adjusters will find any way to deny your claim or pay you as little money as possible. If you return to work early on your own free will, the insurer may determine that your injury wasn’t as serious as you originally claimed, or you weren’t injured at all.
- Your job is secure – As we mentioned earlier, many people return to work early because of the fear of losing their job or their employer says so. However, employers are prohibited from asking injured employees to return to work or threaten you into coming in ahead of your recovery timeline. Furthermore, your employer is not allowed to permanently give your position to someone else or terminate you for not coming into work earlier than expected. If any one of these situations has happened to you, you must speak with an attorney immediately.