Is Light Duty Considered Lost Time? | All You Need To Know
Occasionally, a worker may get injured in the workplace. If their injury is serious, the worker will either go home or to the hospital. However, if they are away from the workplace for at least eight days, they will be eligible for lost time. Lost time is when a worker is physically unable to work due to injury.
The more workers stay away from work, the more they lose their wages. To prevent the loss of income, the worker should apply for a lost time immediately. After applying for the claim, they will receive the compensation via their medical insurance policy.
Sometimes, an employer will not send the injured worker away from the workplace if the injury is not severe. Instead, the employer will assign them a light duty task. In some cases, the workplace may try make the worker continue to work full duty, if this happens, it is a good idea to contact work injury attorneys in Columbus OH. Light duty is a temporary or permanent job that is physically less demanding than the worker’s previous one. After defining light duty, here are other aspects of understanding it better.
Can Light Duty Be Considered Lost Time?
Light duty does not count as lost time since the worker is at the workplace. Additionally, the worker does not miss out on wages within the first week. Instead, the employer pays the worker less than what they were earning in their previous job. Sometimes, the worker can earn the same or more than their previous job.
If the worker is earning less, they will be entitled to lost-wage payments. These payments will be in the form of partial disability benefits. On the other hand, workers who begin to earn more will no longer enjoy lost-wage payments.
Can Workers Reject Light Duty Tasks?
Workers do not have to accept a light duty arrangement. Some workers reject light duty tasks because they feel their wages will be much lower. However, workers should accept light duty tasks despite the low wages.
If an employee rejects light duty, they may miss out on workers’ compensation benefits. That may happen when the employer petitions a judge to modify or nullify the benefits.
What Do Light Duty Tasks Entail?
Earlier, the article mentioned that light duty tasks are less physically demanding. Some less demanding duties workers may perform include: monitoring surveillance cameras, supervising job sites, and doing office tasks.
Besides the tasks being less demanding physically, the shifts are considerably shorter. Remember, an employer doing light duty has yet to recover fully. That means subjecting them to normal shift hours may take a toll on their bodies. Since the shift hours are short, the worker earns less if paid per hour.
Possible Challenges of a Light Duty Arrangement
This arrangement is great since workers earn wages and workers’ compensation benefits. As great as the arrangement is, it has certain challenges that workers should know about and you should always know the chances of winning a worker's comp case.
The employer may begin to be suspicious about the worker’s injury. They might conclude that the worker is exaggerating their injuries to continue enjoying compensation benefits. Another employer may also deem the employee too cautious about returning to work. The employer’s suspicions are what lead to conflict between them and the worker. In these instances, the employer may try to fight the claim. It is important to know more reasons on why employers fight workers comp claims.
The worker may soon feel pressured to return to their previous job. Perhaps, they feel they are earning less money. Others may feel that they need to do more due to working shorter shifts. Still, some may conclude that their colleagues despise them for putting in less effort, which may not be the case.
An employer may not know what tasks to assign their injured worker. That is because the employer must identify tasks that are light duty. If they cannot distinguish such tasks, they may unknowingly assign heavy tasks. These heavy tasks may reinjure the worker, and they may end up staying away from work for a while.
Lastly, the insurance company may compel the employer to start paying full salaries to the worker. That is because the company may no longer want to pay the compensation benefits to the worker. However, the insurance company may fail to find out whether the worker can begin their previous job.
One of the greatest places to enjoy light duty is in Columbus, Ohio. If workers need help understanding or getting light duty benefits, they can consider hiring Larrimer & Larrimer. Larrimer & Larrimer has a team of professionals who understand when to consider light duty tasks.
No worker in Ohio needs to risk their bodies taking light duty tasks. Remember, not all employees understand what tasks count as light duty.