Visitor Question

Forced to work after injury?

Submitted By: Mac (Omaha, NE)

I was injured at work resulting in two surgeries, carpal tunnel release and lateral epicond surgery. I had an EMG test on my arm and showed moderate to severe nerve damage from the injury. I also had an MRI on my shoulder and it came back okay.

I still have extreme nerve pain all up my arm and into my neck, and severe loss of strength and coordination issues. My orthopedist just put me on permanent restrictions and I went to work the next day. They told me that they felt they could accommodate my restrictions and I voiced concern about my safety being in the industrial plant. They told me to go out into our plant and work or go home with a 5 day suspension for insubordination.

I’m really scared about my safety. I have a 50lb below waist restriction and 20 over head. The doctor didn’t say anything about gripping restrictions. Every time I try to do anything with my arm I’m in pain. What do I do? My lawyer told me to go work and have a union steward present and report any concerns to my supervisor. It seems like they are strong arming me and I need to know what to do. Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Mac,

Our policy is not to interfere with the attorney-client relationship. Doing so would be inappropriate. You should in all maters heed the advice and counsel of your attorney.

Generally speaking, those like yourself who have suffered serious work injuries must be careful not to engage in work activities which may lead to an exacerbation of their present injury, or a new but related injury. In your case, your attorney is absolutely correct. That’s what union stewards are for. They exist to represent the best interests of their fellow union members, especially when there exists a conflict.

It’s possible your orthopedist may be able to rewrite his or her narrative. In this case, possibly addressing the new work duties. A clarification from your orthopedist in conjunction with your union steward’s assistance may be the best recourse.

Unfortunately, when it comes to business, sometimes it’s all about the bottom line.

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

Best of luck,

Published: January 19, 2014

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