After suffering a work injury in North Carolina and taking time to recover, you feel well enough to work, but not well enough to perform the work you used to. Has your employer brought up light-duty accommodation?
FitSmallBusiness gives a thorough breakdown of the practice. Understand how you can contribute to the company without exacerbating your injury or current condition.
Meeting you where you are
The goal of light-duty accommodation is to find you work that matches your current physical capabilities and medical restrictions. Through such a practice, you do not have to worry as much about potentially losing your position, and your employer does not have to endure more of a dip in productivity than necessary.
When to consider such accommodations
One essential thing to know about light-duty accommodations is that they are not meant to be permanent. They are best for short-term recoveries and medical restrictions. Not all employers create light-duty accommodation plans, but they should do so. Putting such a plan in place helps with employee retention. Another benefit of this type of accommodation is that it costs companies nothing. Sure, businesses should expect a short-term loss of productivity, but that loss is often preferable to the recovering employee outright quitting because she or he is not fit to fill her or his normal position.
Examples of light-duty
Say that an employee who normally works on her or his feet a lot breaks a leg at work. While recovering, that employee can sit down and work the register or a workstation. For another example, an employee with a respiratory issue could handle janitorial or administrative tasks rather than perform heavy lifting or work in freezing cold weather.
This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.