Can your hours of work be cut while on a workers’ light duty case or is that punishing a person for having a claim?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can your hours of work be cut while on a workers’ light duty case or is that punishing a person for having a claim?

I have a skin tear on my left forearm. I was told to see a doctor who put me a light duty but I was able to work. The employer cut my hours of work from over 40 hours to about 30 hours. Is it legal for the employer to do the cut in hours?

Asked on November 8, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal. You are assuming that there is a right to "light duty," but there is not: if you can't do some or all of your job, your employer can reduce your hours--they don't have to pay you for not working or doing work they don't need. You are also assuming the doctor has some authority over your employer, but he or she does not. These are common misunderstandings, but they are still wrong: your employer does not have to accommodate you with light duty if and when you cannot do all of the job you are supposed to do.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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