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Offer light-duty job to cut workers’ comp liability

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Employees injured on the job and collecting workers’ compensation payments can’t refuse suitable work within their restrictions. If they do, they lose their benefits.

Recent case: Robert Nobles had 20 years of experience installing power lines when a work accident left him with a broken leg. He underwent surgery and rehabilitation.

When he had recovered enough to perform a sedentary job, his employer offered him an opening in fleet management, a job within his medical restrictions and at the same pay rate he had earned before. He demanded a company truck and refused the job when he was told fleet managers weren’t eligible for vehicles.

He sued when his benefits were cut. But the court said he had wrongly turned down a job offer and therefore wasn’t eligible for payments. (Nobles v. Coastal Power, No. COA10-321, Court of Appeals of North Carolina, 2010)

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