If you’ve been injured in California, you’ve probably seen a doctor who’s provided you with temporary work restrictions. At that point, you’re likely left wondering what kinds of obligations you have, and what your employer may have to do to accommodate you, as well. Fortunately, the law is pretty clear on the kinds of things you need to do, and the ways in which your boss needs to respond, to make sure everyone’s following the regulations that come along with accommodations for temporary work restrictions.
The first thing you want to do is be timely with your communication. You should let your boss know about the injury, the work restrictions, and what you can and can’t do for the period of time the restrictions are in place. The things you’re able to do in the workplace will be defined in your medical paperwork, so you can show that to your employer for proof and detail. If you can’t meet with your boss in person, you can also provide information through email or text message.
But you want to handle everything to do with your temporary work restrictions in writing. If you do that, you’ll have a good record of it. Without putting things in writing, your employer could always argue that you didn’t provide them with the information they needed to make proper accommodations for your work restrictions. Even if you did tell them, it could be on you to prove that you gave them the information in a timely manner. Instead of worrying about it, putting everything in writing avoids that issue.
You will also need to make sure you’re going to all your medical appointments, and reporting the information to your employer. If you take a vacation or otherwise avoid going to scheduled doctor’s appointments, or if you delay those appointments for some reason, your employer may feel like you’re not following up on your work restrictions properly. Some employers might consider that to be job abandonment, and you don’t want to get into trouble for that.
As you work with your boss to address your temporary work restrictions, you want to make sure you’re keeping your willingness to focus on those work restrictions and what you can do during your workday. You should have the attitude that you’ll work, as long as your employer can temporarily accommodate you. If you’re clear that you really want to work, it helps your boss feel more confident that this is truly a temporary thing, and you’ll be back to your usual work obligations soon.
If you’re not sure whether your employer is treating you fairly, or you want to ask some questions about temporary work restrictions, we can help. Reach out to us at Michael Burgis & Associates, and get the legal guidance you need to have peace of mind in your injury and work restriction case.