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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default Cannot Perform My Modified Duties

    Hello,

    Im an automotive mechanic and hurt my back 3 weeks ago and now my manager is making me work on modified duties which includes moving vehicles, shuttle driver duties, performing road test. The workers comp doctor diagnose my lower back as a sprain/strain lumbar but I feel that it's more serious than that because they already submitted a request for an MRI. I have no choice but to agree with the return-to-work offer because I can get terminated and loose workers comp benefits if I decline. Im currently taking pain medication (acetaminophen w/cod/) 1-2 tablets every 4 hours. I cannot sit or stand longer than 30 minutes because of the pain. I start my modified duty tommorow and Im afraid my back will hurt so much that I may not be able to complete my task. Can I get fired If I can't complete my task? Can you please give me some advice.

    My doctors work restrictions are: no climbing and frequent change of position as tolerated. Sit as needed, limited standing or walking, no stooping and bending. No kneeling or squatting.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,108

    Default Re: Cannot Perform My Modified Duties

    Quote Quoting challenger12 View Post
    Hello,

    Im an automotive mechanic and hurt my back 3 weeks ago and now my manager is making me work on modified duties which includes moving vehicles, shuttle driver duties, performing road test. The workers comp doctor diagnose my lower back as a sprain/strain lumbar but I feel that it's more serious than that because they already submitted a request for an MRI. I have no choice but to agree with the return-to-work offer because I can get terminated and loose workers comp benefits if I decline. Im currently taking pain medication (acetaminophen w/cod/) 1-2 tablets every 4 hours. I cannot sit or stand longer than 30 minutes because of the pain. I start my modified duty tommorow and Im afraid my back will hurt so much that I may not be able to complete my task. Can I get fired If I can't complete my task? Can you please give me some advice.

    My doctors work restrictions are: no climbing and frequent change of position as tolerated. Sit as needed, limited standing or walking, no stooping and bending. No kneeling or squatting.

    Thanks in advance.
    you would not loose work comp benefits if you are terminated.
    you aren't required to return to modified work with your employer but if they have work within your restrictions they do not have to pay disability.

    maybe, if the task is within your doctors work restrictions and you don't perform you could be terminated.
    you can request a second opinion or you can change doctors to another within the Medical Provider Network.
    more on MPNs here
    http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/MPN/DWC_MPN_Main.html

    you would be in a better position to object to the work restrictions if you tried first rather then just act out of fear.
    Last edited by .SH; 07-23-2012 at 03:15 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,017

    Default Re: Cannot Perform My Modified Duties

    Try the modified work provided... stay within you restrictions, as vague as they appear.
    If you cannot perform the job duties...or your ER cannot provide the light duty job...go back to your PTP, explain the situation and get your status change back to TTD.

    In the meantime... go to www.caaa.org for names of attys in your zip code.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    350

    Default Re: Cannot Perform My Modified Duties

    Lumbar strain/sprain term used to make me wonder until I found out it means your injury is idiopathic in origin and they don't have all the answers for the pathology.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Cannot Perform My Modified Duties

    Thanks for all the help and advise, this is my first time being on workers comp.

    My manager called earlier this evening and told me not to return to work until they know whats wrong with my lower back. He didn't want to give me anymore details and basically just told me to stay home. This happened right after my Union representative talked to my manager and HR about the pain medications I have to take daily and it can cause diziness and drowsiness.
    I will keep you guys updated and hopelly get more good advice from this forum.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Cannot Perform My Modified Duties

    As statedn above if you find you cannot do the modified work discuss with your doctor. I had the same problem and he simply changed by restrictions, a lot of time they are guessing how much pain you can tolerate. Another thing you might need to keep in mind, is that drugs come with warnings, such as not to operate machinery until you are sure how you will react. I personally take some strong medication and I have no business operating machinery while under the influence. Your doctor might consider it unsafe.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,017

    Default Re: Cannot Perform My Modified Duties

    Quote Quoting challenger12 View Post
    Thanks for all the help and advise, this is my first time being on workers comp.

    My manager called earlier this evening and told me not to return to work until they know whats wrong with my lower back. He didn't want to give me anymore details and basically just told me to stay home. This happened right after my Union representative talked to my manager and HR about the pain medications I have to take daily and it can cause diziness and drowsiness.
    I will keep you guys updated and hopelly get more good advice from this forum.

    Thanks again.
    Only your PTP can certify disability exists... when your boss tells you to stay home, you wont be paid TTD/wage loss benefits by the IC....GO to your PTP and discuss this.
    And... GO to an attorney for a consultation...there is no fee for this.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    339

    Default Re: Cannot Perform My Modified Duties

    Quote Quoting BvIA View Post
    Only your PTP can certify disability exists... when your boss tells you to stay home, you wont be paid TTD/wage loss benefits by the IC....GO to your PTP and discuss this.
    And... GO to an attorney for a consultation...there is no fee for this.
    It is true that only the PTP can certify that disability exists, however it sounds like the doctor has already done so. The initial post indicates that the doctor has provided a fairly thorough list of work restrictions. My initial reaction with the scenario being presented is what employer in their right mind is going to assign someone modified duty to drive vehicles while they are on pain medication. It looks to me like the union rep interceded to remind the employer of the liability this could present and the employer is wisely saying no we do not have modified duty. I do agree though that the IW should return to the doctor do discuss the modified duty that the employer initially proposed. The doctor then could modify the restrictions if they feel it is warranted.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,017

    Default Re: Cannot Perform My Modified Duties

    I wouldn't disagree with your take on this... But TTD is not going to be paid because ER says to go home... IW will have to get PTP to change restrictions, or status back to TTD. This may require a PQME/AME evaluation and report. The IC is likely to say the IW can return to work, and should be declared MMI, get the restrictions and PD/WPI rating. That's their way of moving the claim forward.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Cannot Perform My Modified Duties

    Isn't it against the law to take script narcotics while working? The liability issues for the ER would be enormous if anything happens, and few are willing to jepordize their almighty insurance. That's probably why this person was told to stay home. You know, if more of us were given narcs by their docs while on LD fewer of us would be allowed back to work duty. Now there's a thought for those who are still in severe pain. If required to take anything containing narcotics you are not supposed to work. Let your ER know you are required to take them, and see how fast they take Light Duty or anything else away from you. Insurance companies rule, not care for human beings. Right now I'm so disgusted by what is going on with my case, I'm thinking of turning the tables on them and pitting their own rules against them for once! I'm tired of always being the schmuck.

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