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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    2

    Default Employer Requiring a "Safety Agreement" Prior to Return to Work Duties

    i sustained a knee injury, which required surgery, while working. i work a physically demanding sports related job. i am 6 months out of surgery and my Dr. has released me to return to my normal job duties, with some restrictions. Each year my company requires a physical capacity screening, which I completed and passed after gaining return to work permission from my Dr and PT. Now my employer is requiring me to sign a safety agreement prior to returning to my job duties. This agreement states additional restrictions that I was not given from my Dr. It also states that I am responsible to provide any required equipment to meet the conditions of the agreement. It also states that any additional injury/re-injury that occurs can impact continued employment.
    I have not yet signed the agreement and feel that there are some red flags in it, but am not sure what to do or if my employer can even require me to sign such a document. Has anyone else had experience with this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,073

    Default Re: Employer Requiring a "Safety Agreement" Prior to Return to Work Duties

    Quote Quoting erv View Post
    i sustained a knee injury, which required surgery, while working. i work a physically demanding sports related job. i am 6 months out of surgery and my Dr. has released me to return to my normal job duties, with some restrictions. Each year my company requires a physical capacity screening, which I completed and passed after gaining return to work permission from my Dr and PT. Now my employer is requiring me to sign a safety agreement prior to returning to my job duties. This agreement states additional restrictions that I was not given from my Dr. It also states that I am responsible to provide any required equipment to meet the conditions of the agreement. It also states that any additional injury/re-injury that occurs can impact continued employment.
    I have not yet signed the agreement and feel that there are some red flags in it, but am not sure what to do or if my employer can even require me to sign such a document. Has anyone else had experience with this?
    workers compensation laws do not require an employer to return a worker to their job or create a new one. it does make it illegal to discriminate or retaliate against a worker for filing a claim.
    ADA provides 12 weeks of job protection.
    without knowing the basis for the job changes I can say whether any violation has occurred.

    outside of those requirements an employer can alter or restructure any of it's job duties.
    if you still feel uncomfortable returning to your employer under these new duties, contact an employment law atty for help.
    Last edited by .SH; 12-22-2012 at 09:32 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Employer Requiring a "Safety Agreement" Prior to Return to Work Duties

    Quote Quoting .SH View Post
    workers compensation laws do not require an employer to return a worker to their job or create a new one. it does make it illegal to discriminate or retaliate against a worker for filing a claim.
    ADA provides 12 weeks of job protection.
    without knowing the basis for the job changes I can say whether any violation has occurred.

    outside of those requirements an employer can alter or restructure any of it's job duties.
    if you still feel uncomfortable returning to your employer under these new duties, contact an employment law atty for help.
    my concern is that my employer is stating additional restrictions that are contingent to my return to work. These additional restrictions were not specified or prescribed by my medical providers. Also, this agreement was never mentioned until after there was a situation, in which I brought it to the attention of the HR director, with the person who they contract to perform the physical capacity screenings. I have the proper documentation from my medical providers and have sufficiently completed the evaluation required by my employer. I have never heard of such a document being required previously and have asked around to see if any of the other employees have had to sign anything following an injury. No one has heard of such a document.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    17,938

    Default Re: Employer Requiring a "Safety Agreement" Prior to Return to Work Duties

    my concern is that my employer is stating additional restrictions that are contingent to my return to work. These additional restrictions were not specified or prescribed by my medical providers.
    Your ER is not a medical professional, therefore cannot impose physical restrictions. If your ER does not have a job that fits your permanent restrictions... you may have other benefits available to you.

    You could request reasonable accommodation under ADA.
    ADA provides 12 weeks of job protection.
    Think you are referring to FMLA and the 12 weeks of unpaid leave/job protection. ADA doesn't provide job protection.

    If you pass a fit for duty evaluation as requested/demanded by your ER... that's is. They cannot impose additional restriction.
    They also cannot have you sign off on legal options you may have... IE. Filing a claim for work injury, whether you reinjure yourself, or aggreviate this injury. You can't sign away benefits you may be due in the future.

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