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MA- workers comp-light duty

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  • MA- workers comp-light duty

    Hi there,

    I need some guidance regarding worker's comp and possible termination due to incapabilities to work full duty. This is in MAssachusetts, by the way.

    My boyfriend has been working for his employer for 4 years as a laborer for a construction company. A few years ago he hurt his back on the job and the injury flared up again in December. He has been on workers comp since the incident. He has been attending physical therapy twice to three times a week since the incident in December. He goes to his doctor once a month. Each time he goes to the doctor, he says that he is improving but is not yet back to 100%. He has gone to his employer twice saying he wants to go back to work, but his employer wont allow him back until he is at 100%.
    His employer is about to cancel his medical benefits. He also suggested he find a new career. He is going crazy sitting at home and wants to get back to work, but he will definitely have a hard time finding a job that will pay what he was earning.

    My boyfriend is looking into lawyers. Does this case hold any water?

    If anyone has any advice or comments that might help, i would be greatly appreciative.

    Thanks,

    Cameron
    Last edited by camdameron; 03-27-2006, 09:42 AM.

  • #2
    If he has been out since December, yes, it is legal for his employer to either make him pay the full amount for benefits or even terminate him. The longest his employer can be required to hold his job and cover the benefits is 12 weeks. It doesn't matter if this is because of a work injury or not.

    If they let him go because of a work injury, he should be able to get TTD benefits still from the WC carrier. If it appears he isn't ever going to fully recover and return to the same kind of work, he ought to inquire about a vocational rehabilitation program.

    I'm not sure what kind of case you are referring to, but with a WC case that has drug out over more than 4 years and leaves the employee unable to return to the same job, it is never a bad idea to consult with and engage an attorney. This is more to help you fully understand the benefits available to you and look out for your best interests down the road.

    Nothing you have shared points to any illegal or unethical acts on behalf of the employer.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi ElleMD, thanks for your response.

      The case my boyfriend is looking to pursue is recovery of lost wages. He thinks that he will not be able to make nearly as much as he was making at his current employer due to his lack of experience besides what he has been doing for years. He started as a laborer which was his title as of December, but he got many, many raises and the going rate for laborers these days would be what he started at years ago, which is a severe paycut that he does not want to take and cannot afford to take.

      I guess that is what I was trying to figure out. But I suppose the vocational rehabilitation is along the lines of getting training for another occupation that would put less stress on his back with a comparable salary?

      Comment


      • #4
        You can not sue for lost wages as he doesn't have any he lost. He was paid for his time worked and it appears he was paid by WC for the time he was out of work. That is all the law requires.

        Voc Rehab is just that, training and job placement assistance for those who are unable to return to their former jobs. It may just be helping him apply for other jobs in the same industry, or it could include training to learn other skills for a different job that would be better suited to his long term prognosis.

        Once he has been placed elsewhere, and you get to the point of either settling the claim full and final or seeking some sort of award for permanent partial disability, among the factors that will be considered is whether or not he his making about what he did before.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

        Comment

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