Can your job change your wage while on light duty?

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Can your job change your wage while on light duty?

I was in a accident during work, back injury having arthritis in my back. I was off work for a little over a month. The doctor released me back for light was getting paid my regular wage for a month while doing desk work. And now they lower my pay almost about half. I am still getting workers comp but with the new lower wage can’t pay my regular bill’s.

Asked on June 10, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Idaho

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Yes, they can, because there is no right to light duty (unless you have a written contract or union agreement guarantying you light duty): an employer must make a "reasonable accomodation" to employee disablity, but a reasonable accomodaton is a change (not too expensive or disruptive) which lets the employee keep doing all the core or important elements of his or her job. Giving the employee a different job or set of duties to do--light duty--is not a reasonable accomodation, since the employee is not doing the job he or she had been employed to do. Since light duty is therefore not a reasonable accomodation, the employer is free to change or reduce pay, since the employer is not required to pay you the same thing to do a different job, and one other than the one they were employing you to do.


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