Being forced to return to work for modified work detail


#1

I have been put on STD for stress causing high blood pressure. My doctor stated that I am unfit for work but now the health services department of my employer is telling me I need to attend work even if it is for an hour to check emails because I am still able to care for myself in regards to dressing and bathing. I know I am currently unable to attend work and perform any of my duties at the correct mental capacity. How do I refuse modified work duty knowing I am not able to perform but keep my STD and further more my job? I am confused as to what direction to turn. I am currently seeing my family doctor, physiciatrist, cardiologist and currently waiting for a therapist.


#2

I would tell your insurer (I’m assuming that’s who you mean by health services department) that your doctor said you can’t go for an hour each day.
If you can do that and your manager is ok with you checking email then do it.
The insurer will reduce your STD payment by the amount you earn.
If your doctor says even that is detrimental to your health then he/she is the boss.


#3

Have your Doctor again write a letter or note to your employer that you are unable to attend work. Bathing and dressing yourself is all you can manage. The stress of driving to work, interacting with people and the extra physical activity will be too much as all you can mange is your medical appointments and trying to get better.

Without medical support from your doctor/s you may have to try the modified schedule. Is there anyway that your employer can let you check emails and such from your home to accommodate you?

Take the proposal offered by your work in writing to your doctor and have your doctor say no.

Kindly let your employer know in writing that you will review with your Doctor and that you appreciate that they want you back to work but the pressure of returning too soon is affecting your health.


#4

A lot of larger companies have either a disability management company retained or have a health specialist on staff to handle he disability claims along side the Insurer. Larger employers have Insurance Companies just administer the claim
(ASO Agreements) and the employer actually pays/funds the disability payments and pays a fee to the Insurer to mange the claim.


#5

My short-term disability was managed by a third company and benefits were paid by my employer. Usually a representative (case manager) from a third company calls you, requests medical information, information about your limitations and communicates to your employer on your belhalf. They are a middle man between you and your employer.

They also try to scare and intimidate you into going back to work. Mine requested lots of forms filled by my doctors but refused to pay even a penny. She also promised that our communications were confidential and my employer is not going to know the extent of my medical condition.

You should do what your doctor recommends. These people will tell you anything to make you go back to work. They are paid to do so.


#6

Dressing and brushing your hair is much different than going out into the work field your doctor told you to stay away from. I agree with the replies and you are being tricked to come back because you are nieve as I was. It was my employer that put me off work but I was nieve with the health insurance company by thinking they where there to help. This turned into a turn of horrid events which has affected me to this day.


#7

Your employer has not right to make such demands. You have an obligation to provide you employer with medical information confirming you suffer a disability or illness that prevents you from working at this time. If workplace accommodations are not appropriate, then your doctor would need to confirm this. If you could possibly work, if accommodations were made, then you would have an obligation to try. If your employer refuses to follow your doctors’ recommendations they could be in violation of human rights laws of your province. However, it is critical that you have directly given your employer the appropriate medical information to support your continue off work status.


David Brannen

Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal

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