No business owner wants to see an employee injured on (or off!) the job, but the unfortunate reality is that it does happen. Workers' compensation in California is a mandatory cost of doing business. It is designed to protect both the company and the employees by providing these basic coverages:
· Medical Care
· Temporary Disability Benefits
· Permanent Disability Benefits
· Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits or Vocational Rehabilitation
· Death Benefits
After an injured employee has seen his or her doctor and received treatment, he or she may begin asking when he can return to work. Here are some guidelines to help you welcome your employee back after being injured in the workplace.
Follow Doctor’s Orders
After the workers' compensation insurance claim has been filed, the most important part of welcoming your employee back to work is understanding any restrictions put in place by the employee’s doctor. The doctor may give the employee the green light to go back to regular work, but that may not always be the case. Here are the different scenarios that you may be faced with and the expectations associated with each.
Regular work: If your employee is given medical clearance to return to his or her old job, the business owner is required to bring the employee back into his or her former position at the same pay rate and with the same benefits. Additionally, the position needs to be located within a reasonable commuting distance of where the employee lived at the time of the injury.
Modified work: If the employee’s doctor will not provide clearance for the employee to go back to his or her old position (either permanently or temporarily), the business owner is encouraged to provide a position that is similar to his or her old job with modifications to accommodate the medical restrictions. In this modified work role, employees must be paid at least 85% of the wages and benefits the employee was receiving at the time of the injury, and it must be located within a reasonable commuting distance.
Alternative work: If your employee isn’t able to return to his or her former role and a modification would not suffice, the business owner is encouraged to offer a new job at the company instead of supplemental job displacement benefits (SJDB). Similar to the modified work, this new role must meet the work restrictions, pay at least 85% of the former wages and benefits, and be within a reasonable commuting distance.
When being offered modified or alternative work solutions following a workers' compensation claim, the employee has 30 days to accept or reject the offer. If the employee fails to respond, he or she will likely not be entitled to SJDB benefits.
Understanding Your Options
Clemente Insurance offers a comprehensive approach to workers' compensation insurance. We understand that while most states have mandatory requirements for workers' compensation insurance, each business has unique needs for their policy and the administration of a claim.
Your Clemente Insurance Professional will work with you to understand your business and ensure that you have the proper business insurance coverage, including workers' compensation insurance. Contact Your Insurance Experts at Clemente Insurance and Financial Services by calling (888) 995-9098.