WHAT IF MY EMPLOYERS FINDS ME A JOB WITHIN MY RESTRICTIONS?
In Michigan, payment of disability wage loss benefits now depends upon an employee’s inability to return to work paying maximum wages within one’s qualifications and training. Michigan employers have the opportunity and right to find work for their injured employees within their restrictions so as to avoid payment of benefits. If an employee receives a bona fide offer of reasonable employment within that employee’s restrictions and a reasonable distance from his or her residence, and the employee refuses the job without good cause, the employee forfeits his or her right to benefits. You may hear the expression “favored work” which is usually and originally used to describe “odd lot” jobs created or modified just to fit within the workers’ restrictions in order to bring the worker back to work. Employees must accept such jobs or risk denial of benefits.
You may know firsthand that employers and insurance companies sometimes harass injured workers in Michigan by forcing them to work in jobs outside their restrictions and in jobs which endanger or aggravate their condition. Although this behavior is illegal and intolerable, it goes on nevertheless. Employees should consult with their trusted personal physician to determine whether or not they should return to new or different work. Of course, it is never recommended that a worker should return to work at a job that will cause injury or harm. If a worker can at least try to do the work offered by his employer, it at least shows that he or she is making a real effort at recovery and recuperation.