We don’t like it one bit, but the answer is “probably.” If you are in the “healing period” before you reach maximum medical improvement then your employer can ask you to come to work and do just about anything as long as it is within the doctors’ restrictions. Once you are at maximum medical improvement, however, you can only be asked to perform a real job – one which they would offer to someone not on workers’ compensation or one which their competitors would offer to you.

Why don’t we like this law? It’s a new law and we’ve seen what we think is an abuse of it. Injured workers are asked to come to work and then are written up and/or fired over petty reasons, things which would never have gotten them in trouble before. At that point, the adjuster still has to provide medical treatment but she isn’t required to put you on weekly checks because you’re being out of work is due to “misconduct.” To be fair, there have been studies done which suggest that workers will heal quicker if they are out and about rather than just sitting at home watching daytime television (and lawyer ads…) so the idea is fine. But just be careful if you’re back at work on a fake job.

A couple of things to note: First, you should have your examination in private and the nurse talks to you and the doctor together afterword. Second, the nurse has to copy you on all correspondence between the adjuster and herself. Third, the nurse is supposed to be providing you with a copy of her monthly report.