What to do about an on-the-job injury?

UPDATED: Nov 20, 2012

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What to do about an on-the-job injury?

I was diagnosed with a herniated disc. Workers Comp has paid all my doctors bills so far. My question is about Sedentery Duty, my doctor put me on sedentary duty not to long ago and all my job did was give me a chair for my work area. However, at the pace I’m supposed to go, it is hard to do my task as if I sit down. For example, I worked 6.5 hours today and sat for about 45 minutes. Is that legal? Ever since I’ve been hurt I have missed days due to back pain. Also my doctor reduced my hours. Are they supposed to pay that or not?

Asked on November 20, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Nebraska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The problem is, an employer only has to give you "sedentary duty" IF you can do the job you were hired for while being sedentary; the employer is not obligated to pay you for not doing your job, or to transfer you to a different job or make up a new job for you. So if your job is not in fact one you can do while sedentary, the employer could still insist you do the job you were hired for--and then suspend, demote, reduce hours, or even terminate you if you can't do that job. Remember: while an employer must accomodate employee injuries if possible, the employee is not an insurer: it only has to pay or retain employees who can do their jobs, and so it does not need to put the employee in a position where he or or she is paid without getting the job done.

Also, if you are an hourly employee, you only have to be paid for the hours you actually work. If you are working fewer hours, those are the hours you will be paid for.

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