If I was injured at work, does my personal doctor’s orders override the company doctor?

My doctor put me off work for 6 days and sent me to physical therapy. The company doctor told me to return the next day on modified duty. I followed my doctor’s order because I could barely walk.

Asked on July 7, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, West Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, your personal doctor has no authority over the company. If you were injured at work, you may be entitled to Worker's Compensation and can put forward a claim even if the company does not want you to (contact your state department of labor); if you can't work due to injury, you may be entitled to disability payments, subject to the rules and time frame for short-term disability. You may also be able to take unpaid leave if both you and your employer are covered by FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) leave. But other than FMLA leave, or using accrued PTO to cover your absence (e.g. sick days), you have no right to simply miss work, even if your personal doctor wants you to.

FMLA leave: your employer must have at least 50 employees. You must have worked there for at least 12 months, and worked 1,250 hours in the last 12 months.


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