New Jersey Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured New Jersey Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default I Don't Think I Can Do This Job Anymore

    I recently posted a thread about my situation with a workers comp claim. just a quick summary of what happened.... I herniated a disk loading up a port-a-potty (my job is to pick up and deliver them) i was on light duty for 5 months then had surgery... i was on temporary disability after surgery for about 3 months then light duty again for about 2 then released to work.. thats where my last thread ended. I finally was able to go back to work picking up and delivering portable toilets but i began to have pain again after about 25 days or so and ended up being put back on light duty for another month. at the last dr visit which was last week i told him i had pain still but i need to go back to work because i can't live off the amount of money i work on light duty he released me again. for the whole year this has been going on i've been asking for a different job in the company that doesn't require the hard labor and heavy lifting they told me they don't have any positions for me and then proceed to hire people for the exact position i requested. They continue to send me out to pick up and deliver the toilets and have been giving me the heaviest toilets and the most stops on my route out of the whole branch. for example tomorrow i have to deliver 2 toilets that resemble an airplane bathroom.. they want me to take them both out by myself they both way about 1000 pounds. They are supposed to send me with a helper to deliver those but they are telling my they dont have anyone available.... i don't know what to do i cant quit cause i need the money and i haven't found a new job yet. is there any way to get temp. disability again or what should i do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,017

    Default Re: I Don't Think I Can Do This Job Anymore

    You should be consulting with an attorney competent in handling work injury claims.
    Really. There isn't anything you are going to be able to do on your own. Talk to a few attys.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,108

    Default Re: I Don't Think I Can Do This Job Anymore

    you should check out filing an ADA complaint
    http://www.ada.gov/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    PA, but worked in NJ
    Posts
    662

    Default Re: I Don't Think I Can Do This Job Anymore

    Hello Brob1103,
    Yes I recall reading your past posts on your situation. I dont know of many perfectly healthy "strong men" who can pick up and place a 1/2 TON porto pot!! I am sure there must be a way around this. If your saying that this job requires a helper and then you "chose" to do it alone this can be considered reckless on your behalf and if you should re injury your self you can even be denied WC benefits due to your recklessness!!!!!!!!!!! This would be because apparently you should know better!!!

    You were sent back to work because the Dr understands you have pain, as many workers who do heavy physical labor do. Pain is subjective and many factors go into how much pain one can tolerate to achieve a set goal which is in your case to make the $ that you are used to making. Unfortunately unless you have some sort of work agreement/contract that specifically states if injured you can apply for a less physical job or a job within your new restrictions given by a company Dr. If no agreement exists, or if one does exists but doesn't contain the language stated you can be fired for not being able to perform the job tasks assigned to you that day!! NOW ISNT THAT NICE!!! You appear to be an "at will" employee which really puts the pressure on you and sadly without a work agreement you are pretty much at the mercy of your employer in NJ!!!!!!!

    It is a good idea to speak to an experienced lawyer in WC but they will say same, in my opinion.

    If it were me in your shoes I would tell them that lifting (2ea.) - 1/2 TON porto pots requires 2 workers and that sending only one worker because the employer doesn't have anyone to send is not part of your job duties. Tell them they can hire a TEMP worker until they do have someone to send with you. BEWARE that doing this may get your fired but at least you will still have your health and not be suffering from serious chronic back condition as many here do for not listening to their bodies telling them they MUST slow down, and this is what your pain is telling you. If you go out and perform more than what can be expected from a healthy worker all the responsibility may rest on YOUR shoulders. It is obvious your employer has no regard for your back condition, and is holding you to the job that your were hired to do.

    Sadly anything I can write will not fix the jam that you find yourself in, the only way you can get back on Temp Dis under workers comp is for a work Dr to put you there. In most cases if you should re injury yourself chances are you would get your TTD but you will find yourself MMI QUICKLY and most likely terminated from your job.

    I honestly respectfully disagree with the idea of filing any administrative complaints with the ADA as it will not help you in this situation and may cause you more grief with your employer as your employer didn't originally hire a disabled worker or a worker with disability. Same with OSHA as thats where you file unsafe working conditions, but again you can end up out of work. Simply put they are within their rights to fire you because you are unable to perform your job tasks, however if your refuse to do an unsafe job which it sounds like they are asking of you, and are terminated you then would be entitled to UI benefits but I am sure you will need to beat them out of your employer as I have seen this situation a few times before in NJ. Just one more reason why NJ is an employer friendly state!!

    I wish you luck in this as I have a good feeling you are going to do what it takes to keep your job and to me that makes you a dedicated hard worker, just be sure to follow all safety precautions when lifting as this could also be a recipe for disaster!! I wish I had better news for you.

    BUG

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