Workplace

Questions about workplace injury

Posted by on Oct 12, 2017 in Workplace | 0 comments

I’ve got a legal dilemma, but I don’t want to go to a lawyer and pay to ask, so I’m going to try and just post it here and see if I can’t get a bit of free advise from you all.

I work for a company based in California (no names here, because I don’t want anyone to see this and get me in trouble). I’m biased here, but I do go on business trips regularly to other branches. My work is mostly in consulting with those branches to see how they can better align with the expectations and goals of the headquarters in California. Simple and straightforward, right?

Well, my position is a little nebulous as a consultant. It isn’t clear whether I’m in charge or the branch boss is, which can lead to a butting of heads at times.

I was in Iowa recently, in Des Moines, and one of those branch heads decided to pull rank and try to humiliate me after I’d laid into him—ill-advisedly, I admit—in front of a couple of his colleagues about some major slip-ups that were occurring on his watch.

To humiliate me, he demanded I do several menial tasks. Since part of my job is to “assist the branch in any way within your capabilities” (he quoted this to me more than once), I had little choice in the short-term to comply.

One of those tasks, however, resulted in my straining a muscle pretty severely. I reported this at the time, but I’m not sure the branch head recorded it. I did call back to headquarters and mention it as well.

The problem is this. I’ve flown back to California and seen my doctor, and he believes I have a muscle tear and should take time off. He also said, because the tear is severe enough, I may need to go on disability for a while.

The thing is, I don’t want to go on disability, and I certainly don’t want to raise headquarter’s insurance rates because I did so.

Now, something I should point out here, though these are all businesses conglomerated under one title, the branches are actually semi-independent. I have more information on this if anyone posts back and needs it. Each branch has its own insurance, for instance. What I want to do is demand Iowa’s branch pay for my disability, so they have to suffer the rate rise later.

I’m just not sure if I can do it. Technically, I’m an employee from California’s headquarters, but the accident did happen in Iowa. But then again, I saw a doctor in California. It’s quite a tricky business.

There’s a lawyer in Iowa I’ve considered calling, but again, if I can get the advice for free here, I’d much rather do that.

So, if anyone knows anything about this side of the insurance world, once again, get hold of me however you’d like, and we can discuss the issue in greater detail.

I really appreciate anyone who might be reading this and willing to get back to me.

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Everything You Need To Know About Fit-for-Duty Test

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in Workplace | 0 comments

In most instances, one of the major causes of workplace injuries is letting the wrong employee do a certain job. The employee tasked to perform a certain job is either physically not ready or totally unable to perform essential job functions. This is where a fit-for-duty test can come in handy. These tests can protect an employee from injury and you from paying workers’ compensation claim.

A fit-for-duty test can be administered as part of a functional employment testing. It may include the following examinations:

  • Return to work. This is administered if you are unsure that an employee who has been out for a while is ready to resume their work after an injury despite getting medical clearance.
  • Job Performance. You can give this test to an employee if you think that they cannot perform an essential function of the job or that they are not at par with the standards of other employees
  • Post-offer Physical Examination. Also called as physical abilities testing or pre-placement exams, it may include comprehensive questionnaires, musculoskeletal assessment, drug screen, and medical surveillance.

Fit-for-duty exams can also be interchanged with functional capacity evaluations (FCE). Administering such exams is a legal right of employers. While the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit discrimination when hiring a disabled worker, the same disability cannot prevent them from doing an essential function of the job. A prospective employee who is in a wheelchair can be hired if he or she can perform say a desk job. The Americans with Disabilities Act sets two conditions for fit-for-duty tests:

  • Can the prospective employee perform the essential functions?
  • Does the worker have a medical condition that can directly threaten the safety and health of the worker or other employees?

These conditions can help decide whether a comebacking employee is indeed ready to work. The goal of fit-for-duty test is to check whether an employee can meet the physical demands of a position.
 

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