Worker`s Compensation/Light Duty hours

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Question
I am a nurse who works 12 hour-night shifts and was injured in late January. With one day off, I was immediately put on light/transitional duty consisting of M-F, eight hours, on dayshift. There was no consideration of pain issues, change of day-to-night shift, I am a primary caregiver to my parents (due to my father’s illness), and I am in school.

After 52 days of trying to juggle my parents, school, doctor/therapy appts, and the change of work hours, the WC rep decided to put me out on medical because of my increased stress and delayed healing of my injury. At this point I had to use my PTO and LTD hours to fill in the missing income.

Currently, I am still not released for full duty and the WC rep is trying to put me back to the same M-F, eight-hour/day schedule. I have been trying to work with them to modify the hours to accommodate my needs however they will only accommodate for their needs, therefore to work three, eight hour days in the evening (even though this goes against their policy). This sounded good but I no longer have any PTO or LTD hours to use for the missing hours.

Does the WC laws accommodate workers with unconventional hours like a nurse? I offered to work light/transitional duty in my normal three-12 hours shifts at straight time but they will not accommodate.
Please advise…

Answer
The Labor Code requires that WHERE A NETWORK PHYSICIAN WRITES you are temporarily PARITALLY or totally disabled, the insurer pays you 2/3 of your average weekly earnings for each day of work you missed.

There is nothing in the Labor Code permitting a "WC Rep" to "put me out".   Only a written report from a physician should do that.

If "WC REP PUT ME OUT" means you voluntarily signed a Leave of Absence, then revoke that in writing.

Where a worker is temporarily partially disabled (in writing from the doctor) and the employer refuses to permit the worker to do a modified assignment, THE INSURANCE COMPANY IS OBLIGATED TO PAY TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY PAYMENTS (just as though you were labeled temporarily totally disabled).

No one has any duty to give you any special help because of parents or school.  don't even mention parents or school again as this proceeds.   Parents and School are NEVER your employer's responsibility.

It seems what you really need is a real doctor from the insurer's Medical Provider Network to write you are totally temporarily disabled and fax and mail that written report to the insurance adjuster...so she will start total disability payments and you stay home and heal.

BEWARE!!!   98% OF THE DOCS ON THE MPN are 'in bed' with the insurance company and will write you must return to modified duties, which isn't going to help.   YOU NEED A SPECIALIST ATTORNEY in your region who truly knows the doctors on the MPN and can find a 'friend' on the who is more interested in helping you heal than getting new patients from adjusters.

Worker`s Compensation

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Nancy Wallace

Expertise

California injured workers employed by state and private agencies (NOT federal employees) regarding On-The-Job injuries, disability payments, and terminations from being injured on the job (work-related wrongful terminations).

Experience

20+ years in California Workers Compensation law practice in California. Certified Specialist, Workers' Compensation, Board of Legal Specialization, State Bar of California

Organizations
California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization

Publications
Editor, Western State University College of Law newspaper www.Avvo.com www.imhurt.info

Education/Credentials
J.D., Western State University College of Law B.S., cum laude, Cal Poly Pomona

Past/Present Clients
Senior adjuster for one county sent me her husband when they needed caring representation. The injured Employment Development Dept. hearing representative -- who see all applicant's attorneys in the region -- hired me when she got hurt on the job. A Fire Department Chief in Orange County came all the way to San Bernardino for my representation.

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