Tennessee Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Tennessee Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    374

    Default What Must You Do While On Sedentary Duty

    I have been put on sedentary duty from a major fall at work. It has messed up my ankle, foot to the extent that I will not walk the same, and the doctor says they can't fix it. I can walk, but if I do very long, it stiffens and aches to where I can hardly walk. It throbs at night. But for a short period, I can walk fair, but it turns into a limp quickly, This job has high injury rate because of fast, hard physical work.

    I was instructed to not climb up, or use stairs and that is where the restrooms are, and I must climb up to do my work. I must drive to restroom away from work or go to the restroom outside. Outside as in the woods. I find that humiliating. At times, the medication I was given, definitely impaired my driving. When they first insisted that I must get up and clean , I told them that I would definitely need the medication to handle the work they suggest I do, and will need transportation back and forth. I am told that will never happen.
    The medication made me so sleepy. I wanted to lay down with my foot propped up to stop the throbbing. The second week I was there, they had me washing the walls in the office. The doctor's restrictions were sit and stand at will, no bending, stooping leaning etc. So I crawled around the office scrubbing the walls. OOOOOOOOOou! It made my foot hurt,

    The manager at work says I am not earning my wage, and he figures up on a calculator what I am drawing sitting in the office, answering the phone and what little computer work they will allow. He instructs me to sweep and clean up around the outside. I tell him that my foot and ankle aches so I cannot do it. He tells me that he is the manager and he decides what sedentary means. And it doesn't mean sitting in the office since he doesn't need my help there. He talked about how much money I was costing the company not being productive. On and on and on........

    He has other management standing around me, watching as he does this. I tell him his rules are silly and that I find it so outrageous that I have to go outside to the bathroom so he can say I am not on at home on WC.

    Sedentary he explains, means, standing but getting to sit to take a break.
    I stay with "my foot hurts," and I am worried about the health of my foot rather than his need to make me get up and work on my feet. He said if I were in that bad of shape, the doctor would not have allowed me to come to work at all. This seems to go on a lot longer than it needed to.

    Reasoning with him is not happening, so I call HR. They side with him. HR made the dumbest comment of all. He said if manager wants me to cut grass from a rolling chair,using scissors, then that is what has to be done Management makes the call on sedentary, he said. The managers walk out and I see the phone line lighting up as the phone is being used in another room.
    I get out of the office and call on cell phone to Dr's office to get help. The nurse answers and says if my boss can't understand the definition of sedentary, then to call back and she will give him the meaning. By that time, the managers went to lunch.

    I call business agent, and tells me to play their silly game for a while and he turns it in to Workers Comp office. I fill out the papers and send them in explaining a lot more that was said, on paper. They call me the next day to determine who and how the complaint would be answered.
    The business manager said there would be an investigation. Now to see if this company owns WC also. They own the insurance company and seems they control the doctor puppets on a string. I have never seen anything like it.

    I have seen many other employees afraid to stand up to them. They let these managers run over them like a steam roller. So many had sedentary instructions, but thought that they had to do what they were told, no matter what. This company excells in brainwashing their control over you.

    Later, both managers came to me and told me not to be mad and not to take it personal because it was just business.

    Now I sit and wait for the bomb to explode knowing that the other mangement people will totally go against what was actually said.
    It was hard to hold my ground, I wanted to cry, but I knew they would feel victory if I started up the tears.
    I dread next week so bad that I have kept a headache.

    But if I just let them run over me, I will look back and wish I had stood up for myself, even if it turns out bad. I have felt that feeling before and I have never liked it.
    Lue

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,930

    Exclamation Re: Brainwashed No More

    Lue, how are things going at the "sedentary office" job? Has that butthead manager let up on you yet? You are so right in some people think they are all that and then some. Supposedly it is more beneficial for an injured worker to return to the work place and it is "supposed" to help one not feel so disabled and helpless. It is supposed to help the IW get back to regular duties sooner. It is NOT supposed to be a vessel for an employer/manager to use to harass, intimidate, and belittle the IW with.

    With that in mind I would think that the IW should be made to feel better, not worse whilst earning their keep. I am much of the opinion that many employers who have or create light duty for WC IW do so out of spite certainly not to help the IW return to regular duty. In spite of what some "experts" say. Those experts may have a valid point IF the employers didn't use it as an excuse to pull the kind of crap like they are pulling on you. I am sure there are employers out there who make light duty available for IW's and do so in the context of helping the worker.

    It is a part of their silly little game to try and convince you that you really aren't injured and attempt to get you back on full duty whether your injury is healed or not. After all a person will only take so much and when they get a gut full they will do things not in their own best interest just to get away from the harassment. Despicable if you ask me, the way some think the behavior exhibited by your manager to be acceptable. It is NOT.

    This so called sedentary work release might also be a way to find or create an excuse to use to fire you. Be very careful in all you say and do when at the office. If they were to terminate you for other reasons, say refusal to follow directions aka insubordination, you will not be eligible to draw TTD as then you aren't working because of the termination not the injury. I encourage you to watch your back at all times.

    To a degree and under the best of circumstance we all have to put up with some maltreatment from our employers. Being that we all work under the "at will" doctrine we are free to leave and work elsewhere. However, when you are in a WC situation and you are being out right harassed because of that work related injury, you do NOT have to continue to be subjected to it.

    Constantly reminding you of how much you are costing the company is totally out of line. Maybe even one time is too many but to keep hammering it home is just NOT acceptable. Not having access to a restroom for you is not only unacceptable it is against ADA laws. They would be wise to correct this immediately, at he minimum put a port-a-let in the parking lot if nothing else. Retaliation and harassment aimed at you because of the WC injury is expressly against the law in all states.

    Just for the record your manager does not get to make up what sedentary or light duty means. Tell him to look up the word sedentary in the dictionary = marked by or requiring little physical activity ~ from Latin work that means to SIT.

    Your doctor should have clearly spelled out what your restrictions are. If you are not to be on your feet for more than 15 minutes, or what ever time is applicable, he/she needs to put that on your work release. If you are to keep the foot elevated that also needs to be spelled out.

    You will be well served to return to your doctor and explain to him just how thick headed your manager. Have him spell out each and every restriction HE determines you need to be under. Make sure you tell him of any exacerbation of pain you had due to attempting to do the work your manager demanded you do.

    Your manager then needs to find work for you to do that is within those doctor ordered restrictions. Even if it means you just sit there all day and take up space and that is what flips his switch. Your manager needs to understand that sit and stand at will means exactly that. And it is your will not his that the doctor is referring to. What a jerk!

    I don't care how many times the manager tells you to do something, if it against your doctor ordered restrictions you stick to your guns and do not cause further injury to yourself doing something you have been told not to by your doctor.

    Have you talked to an attorney yet concerning your claim? If not it is a very good thing for you to do. ASAP. Attorneys know the right strings to pull to either have you removed from the work place until you are able to return to regular duty or cause the harassment to stop. Your manager sound like a real piece of work Lue. It also sounds like it is high time someone stood up to him and his asinine way of treating employees.

    Take Care,

    Steel
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    103

    Wink Re: Brainwashed No More

    LUE


    Take a recorder into work with you and tell them your going to record everything they say . Tell them your in so much pain that you can,t remember everything that they are telling you. Then take the recorder to a lawyer or someone that can help you like the labor board

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,930

    Default Re: Brainwashed No More

    Yo Huring I like it
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    374

    Default Re: Brainwashed No More

    Thanks for responding Steel Magnolia. Right now, "Butthead is calm." No one fussing and it scares me that they are acting in a way that I am not used to seeing. It is almost like they are an hourly employee just having a good time. Just like me! I will not be surprised if they don't start hugging me in the morning when I get there and hug me good-bye in the afternoon, then call to see if I made it home OK! He-he!!!! Much like petting a tiger when his stomach is full and hanging around until he gets really hungry.
    You are right on me needing to go talk to a lawyer. Too much time will get by if I need one and trying to catch them up might not be a good idea.
    I wondered if anyone has ever turned in a company to the state, Worker's Comp board? Was it something you regretted or did it make it better for you and other employees?
    What would WC do to an employer not following WC rules?
    You are also right about watching your back at all times. That goes for office and hourly employees too.
    Hurting gl, taking a recorder is a good idea. I guess they would run backwards on that. But one of the policies of the company is that you cannot have a recorder for use on company property. But, having said that, I know it has been done before.
    I'm learning more here every day. Thanks everyone.
    Lue

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,930

    Smile Re: Brainwashed No More

    Well what ever you said to that business agent must have done the trick by the sounds of things. I am so glad for your sake Lue that they have chilled out. There is just no need in them showing their butts like they were. It's not like by them acting like complete and total jerks that your foot is magically going to heal any better. Regardless of how or why I am sure you are relieved to have the change of heart come about.

    As far as making a formal complaint with WC when an employer fails to follow the doctors orders I don't know of anyone that has. Personally this is only the second time I have had to deal with WC myself and the other incident was a zero lost time claim. Needless to say I never even talked to the IC adjuster with that one. Ended up screwed royally due to lack of knowledge on my part Over four years after the injury ended up having to use my personal health insurance to pay for the rotator cuff surgery. By the time it was all said and done between the deductible and all co-pays it was well over a thousand dollars out of my pocket. Not to mention my half arsed STD policy at the time didn't even pick up until I was off work for 30 days and then it wasn't half of what I had been making. Oh well live and learn I suppose.

    Take Care and don't let your guard down and leave them jerks room to screw you over. Hope you heal up well and real soon.

    Steel
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    374

    Default Re: Brainwashed No More

    I appreciate it Steel! I am sorry to hear about your shoulder. I guess it takes at least one time to go through this to know what to expect. But with this forum, it sure makes it easier to predict what might be coming through the door next.
    Take care Steel!
    Lue

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,930

    Default Re: Brainwashed No More

    You are absolutely right about this forum Lue. If I would have had access to a forum like this when I hurt my shoulder in 2000 I guarantee you I would not have been out all that cash. But like I've said we live and learn. Sometimes the lesson just costs more .

    Take Care,

    Steel
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    374

    Default Re: Brainwashed No More

    Steel, Sorry about your shoulder. They should have taken care of you better than that. But, it's all about them and the money. I've had one expensive lesson at work myself. Those kind of experiences like to hang around in the corners of you mind, then come out when it thinks you haven't anything to worry about. Mostly to people driving!!
    But it will come back to you sooner or later, we just have to be patient. Or shall I say, act patient.
    Take care!
    Lue

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,930

    Default Re: Brainwashed No More

    So right you are Lue. So right you are

    Please explain what you mean with "people driving" . You kind of lost me there, but then these days that isn't too hard to do .

    Steel
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

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