Work Restrictions

The workers compensation lawyers at Fields Law Firm understand you want to get back to work as soon as possible so you can provide for your family. But work restrictions help ensure you and your fellow workers stay safe and healthy. If you’re injured on the job, part of the healing process is making sure you don’t re-injure yourself or make your injury worse by going back to work too soon or doing work that is too strenuous.

Our Workers Compensation and Disability attorneys are dedicated to answering your questions and helping you do what’s best for yourself, your family, and your future. If you have a question about working within the limits of your work restrictions, call us at 1-888-343-5375 or fill out our free form.

Employer Responsibilities

When you receive medical treatment for an on-the-job injury, your doctor will document your work restrictions. These restrictions tell you when you can return to work and place limits on the amounts and types of work you should do. Doctor restrictions for work also provide important information for your employer to make sure your work restrictions are properly followed.

It’s important to note, Your employer can’t fire you for having work restrictions, and they can’t force you to work outside your work restrictions. Your employer must:

Employers must also allow you to take trips to the doctor so you can receive medical treatment for your injuries.

Injured Worker Responsibilities

When you have a work injury, the first and most important thing that you should do is seek medical attention immediately. When you go to the doctor, you need to inform them that you have a work-related injury. Make it very clear to the doctor or nurse that the injury happened at work and tell them how it happened.

The doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant examining you may have more questions during the examination, so it is important to tell them the truth and tell the same story each time you talk to someone. This is important so that your medical records are consistent. If they are not consistent, the insurance company can use that as a basis for denying your claim.

When restrictions are given to you by the doctor, you have an obligation to provide these restrictions to your Employer. If you have a qualified rehabilitation consultant, your QRC will likely do this for you. Otherwise, it is a good idea to make sure your Human Resources department or supervisor has them right away.

If you do not give your Employer your restrictions, they will expect you to return to work performing your pre-injury job duties. If you haven’t provided a workability slip or restrictions, they can fire you for not returning to work or performing the work available to you.

If the Employer receives the work restrictions and says they have work within your restrictions, you have an obligation to try the work and see if it is within your restrictions. If you find that you cannot perform the work within your restrictions, then you need to inform your Employer as soon as possible and schedule an appointment with your doctor to get updated work restrictions.

If your Employer will not adjust your job requirements or refuses to provide work within your restrictions, contact an attorney. There are options available to you such as vocational rehabilitation services, job retraining, and wage-loss benefits that an experienced work injury lawyer can help you with.

What questions should I ask my Doctor about Work Restrictions from a Work Injury?

At each appointment, you should remind your doctor to provide you with updated work restrictions, or a “Report of Workability.” This is for your Employer so that they will know whether or not you are able to work, and if you can work, what activities you can be doing and what activities you should be avoiding.

Oftentimes, these restrictions will include something like “no lifting more than 10 lbs.” or “no repetitive use of the right hand” or “no overhead reaching,” “5 minute breaks every hour to stand and stretch,” or possibly “sit/stand option available.”

You should make sure that the restrictions that you are given make sense with the type of job that you are doing. If you operate heavy machinery and are taking narcotics, make sure that your restrictions reflect that you cannot operate heavy machinery.

If you go back to work and the work is within your restrictions but you still find that you cannot perform the work, you need to explain to your doctor what it is that you are having problems doing, and if the doctor agrees, he/she can adjust your restrictions to appropriately accommodate your condition.

What are my options if my Doctor has me on Work Restrictions?

If your doctor has given you work restrictions, you should follow those work restrictions and make sure your employer knows what your work restrictions are. It is very important that you follow restrictions given to you by your doctor. In addition, if you are being held completely off of work, you may not work.

Light duty work restrictions, or work restrictions that include limitations on such tasks as bending, pushing, pulling, twisting, must be followed. If you have been returned to work with restrictions, your “date of injury” employer should accommodate those restrictions.

You must at least attempt to perform the work that has been offered to you if the job duties are within your restrictions. If you are unable to perform the work, even though it is within your work restrictions, you should contact your doctor immediately to get updated restrictions.

If your employer is unable to accommodate your work restrictions, you may be entitled to wage loss benefits during this time period.

If you are having problems obtaining benefits or accommodations that follow the restrictions given by your doctor, or if you have returned to work with restrictions but your employer does not accommodate these restrictions or consistently asks you to do work that is outside of those restrictions, call us.

We can refer you to a QRC who will assist you with returning to work. A QRC may communicate with the parties involved in your claim to ensure that your employer is accommodating your work restrictions.

Additionally, just because a job offer is within your restrictions does not mean you absolutely have to accept the offer. In addition to the physical demands of the position, a suitable job offer must also be economically suitable and should not require you to substantially alter your lifestyle. This includes factors such as the distance you would need to travel to the proposed job or the hours you are being asked to work.

You may also qualify for Workers Compensation wage loss benefits if you have returned to work in a light duty capacity and earning less than what you were making at the time of injury.

We’re Here To Help

If your doctor has provided you with work restrictions and you have any questions regarding your return to work status, a job offer from your employer, or benefits you may be entitled to following your return to work in a light duty capacity, please call our Injured Worker Hotline at 1-888-343-5375.

If you were sent back to work too soon, fired while on work restrictions, or your employer isn’t accommodating your work restrictions, call us immediately. Our Minnesota Workers Compensation lawyers are happy to speak with you and provide a free consultation to evaluate the legal options you may have. Fields Law is Minnesota’s resource for injured workers, and you can count on us to be there when you need us most.



John Kelley
John Kelley
21:38 16 Oct 18
I was having issues with an insurance company and I hired fields law firm. The people there are amazing and always quick to answer questions even a couple times on the weekend. I worked with Blake amazing person and very informative on my case. I would highly recommend this firm to any of my friends.read more
Michael Frazier
Michael Frazier
23:58 10 Oct 18
I had the pleasure to work with Michael and Annie on my LTD case. When my claim was denied by the insurance carrier, Michael didn't hesitate to take them on with an appeal. He worked diligently on the appeal and ultimately won this for me. Mind you, this wasn't a huge case but he treated me like it was and as if I was the only case he was representing. He kept me abreast of vital information, it was clear that he knew his stuff and wasn't afraid to take on the big insurance company. Michael was much more than I ever expected given that our relationship was entirely remote, handled by telephone and email only. Not only is he a strong lawyer, he treated me with compassion and respect. I am beyond pleased with him and the Fields Law team. Michael cares about his clients and he gets the job done for them because he knows how impactful an injury can be to both a person's well-being and their financial security. I highly recommend Michael and Fields Law whether you are local to their Minnesota offices or out of state like myself.read more
Melanie Eason
Melanie Eason
20:12 29 Aug 18
Fields Law Firm is great. Patrick Kramer, my lawyer, is fantastic. He and his legal assistant Samantha K. have handled my case for several years. They have kept me informed every step of the way. They are both easy to contact. I have both of their phone numbers and email addresses and they respond promptly to any messages I leave. Without their help I would not have been able to get the disability company to fulfill their promises. It is a relief to leave all the dealings with the disability insurance company in their hands.read more
Jeannie Kerr
Jeannie Kerr
23:37 15 Sep 18
My experience with Merrick Williams of Fields Law Firm has been truly above and beyond satisfactory. His knowledge and professionalism have guided me through a very difficult time. He and his assistant Angela were readily available to answer any questions and address my concerns. I highly recommend him as an attorney and will use his services again if necessary in the future.read more
ebon jordan
ebon jordan
19:51 27 Sep 18
Field Law Firm was great my lawyer Zach Schmoll was more than I could ask for. He always kept me in the loop and explain everything perfectly, got back to me whenever I called less than 24 hrs and was a extremely nice guy. This guy is young and knows what he is doing so please don’t let the age fool you. I had a wonderful experience with Field Law and will refer anyone with legal matters to them.read more
Edward Johnson
Edward Johnson
23:11 31 Oct 18
I highly recommend Fields law Firm if you need some no nonsense attorneys to represent you. I was treated courteously and efficiently each and every time by Mike and his associates. They settled my Long Term Disability case in a timely fashion. and was pleased with the results. Thanks again Mike and Fields Law Firm. You are the best!read more
19:19 09 Nov 18
Fields Law Firm is simply the very best when it comes to representing you & fighting for your rights! They are a "10 Star" Law Firm hands down! Michael Kemmmitt & Sarah Christensen were simply outstanding to work with. They took over my long term disability case after I was being denied my benefits & gave me the moral support & law experience that I needed to win my case. They were supportive throughout my case & they will fight tooth & nail to assure your rights are not being denied. It is so rare to find a law firm that treats you like YOU are the most important person to them. I HIGHLY recommend Fields Law Firm. They are truly advocates for justice.read more
Ben Chadwick
Ben Chadwick
23:20 12 Nov 18
Michael and Samantha were always giving me updates in a very timely manner. They were very good at getting back with me if I had questions, and they didn't have the answer at the time of our discussion. They were very thorough in their handling of my case, and we received a positvie ruling due to their efficiency and expertise. Thank you very much Michael and Samantha, I appreciate all that you did to help me with my case. I would definitely refer people to you, as well as use you in the future. Benjamin Chadwick.read more
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