Visitor Question

Can an employer cut wages after employee cleared to go back to work?

Submitted By: Brigette (San Bernardino, California)

My dad got hurt on the job and filed for workers comp. After treatment and settlement he was cleared to go back to work. My dad has been working in pain and was given a different job. He was told his old job was not available anymore.

He was given a different job duty and was told today that they are going to reduce his wages by 3 dollars because the job he is doing now is a lower paying position. He told them that he didn’t agree and would like his old job back. He was told it’s not available and that he has 2 days to decided if he will take the offer or quit the company.

Does this sound correct or does he need to hire a attorney? Thank you.

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.


Dear Brigette,

In the State of California, if the primary treating physician reports an injured worker can return to work with restrictions, any work the employer assigns must meet those restrictions. The employer may change certain tasks, reduce the worker’s time on certain tasks, or provide helpful equipment. Or, the employer may say that type of work is unavailable.

If the primary treating physician states the worker can return to work without restrictions, the employer usually must give the worker the same job and pay he or she had before the injury.

However, if it was necessary to fill that job while the injured worker was recovering, and that job is no longer available, the employer can offer the worker a different job, either at the same pay or a lesser pay if the job offered pays less.

Unfortunately, if the worker refuses to accept the alternate job, the employer has the right to terminate the worker’s employment.

It is always a good idea to seek the advice and counsel of a local workers’ compensation attorney. The Western San Bernardino County Bar Association can assist your father in finding several workers comp attorneys in your father’s general location.

Learn more here: Returning to Work After Injury

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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