Boss asking me to do actions restricted by my doctor due to a torn rotator cuff?

by John

A soda machine fell on me, while trying to load it into my boss's trailer, when I stepped on a plate that covers the hinge. I suffered damage to my left shoulder and ribs and I am unable to perform the duties I once did without problem. My boss however seems to think that modified work restrictions means doing the same job just less of it.

I was/am going to a lot of doctors and may need surgery on my left rotator cuff. I am not allowed to bend, squat, kneel, reach away from my body, lift more than 5lbs, or reach over my head, and I have been limited to 2-3hrs of light duty work a day. Also, I am not to be driving since my pain meds contain narcotics. I have been paying for my meds and trying my best to not do any of the restricted actions.

My boss is getting upset with me because I can't do my job which requires that I do everything my doctor says not to do. My boss is constantly requesting I do what he asks knowing I can't. I feel that he is asking me to do these things so that if I do he can report me to Workman's Comp and relieve himself from the responsibility of paying.

I am a dedicated employee to any job and don't want to be a claimant. I do want to return to work ASAP but I don't want to re-injure myself by doing more than I can. Yet I feel that the only way for my boss to understand the seriousness of this is to file a workers comp claim.

I do not feel I will be paid in full for my lost time or reimbursed for my meds. My boss has proven to be a cheapskate and really seems to not care about the fact that my injury would never had happened if we'd used the proper equipment to perform the job. He only cares about getting his money. I am totally lost as for what to do. Thanks in advance for any direction you can give on how to handle this situation.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Boss asking me to do actions restricted by my doctor due to a torn rotator cuff?":

John (Colorado):

According to the facts you present it appears you were injured while on the job. If so, you have a right to seek workmans compensation for your injury.

Ask your employer for the name of his insurance company. If he won't agree, contact a workmans compensation attorney. Most workmans compensation attorneys do not charge for an initial interview. If you can find one to accept your case his fees will only be paid when he or she settles your claim or wins it at trial. Then your attorneys fees will be deducted from your settlement.

In the interim you have a duty to mitigate your injuries. This means you must continue to seek medical care for the treatment you need. If you can't afford to pay medical bills, your attorney may be able to refer you to a doctor who won't charge you until and unless your case is eventually settled or won by your attorney.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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