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Problems with their Employers when returning to work?

cbskibumccbskibum Posts: 88
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am over three months post L5 S1 fusion surgery, and my Doctor has released me to go back to work, except he placed restrictions on no bending, twisting or lifting anything over 10#s. Time loss estimated till July 8. Which means my doc estimates a full release then. My surgery was due to an accident unrelated to my job.

Pain wise, I feel as well or better than I did before surgery. I feel I can do my job as well or better than I could before surgery.

My Job does not require heavy lifting nor bending or twisting.

My employer will not let me return to work without a full realease. I understand I am now a liability. There is a part of me that thinks this is discrimination, and I feel for all of you who have gone through similar situations.

My questions to you all are: Have any of you ever had problems with your employers allowing you to return to work after surgery? And, What can I do in the meantime, ie disability, food, utilities, legal?


  • I wanted to return part time before my 2nd MicroD but my employer would not let me back unless I could return full time.

    Because it was their choice to not have me back at part time, they agreed to pay me at 100% when my doctor released me to work fully.

    I was upset when I first learned of this situation, because I felt like they didn't want me or were trying to discriminate me...

    But since I will be paid at 100% when I am released, I can't complain. It was just odd to feel that they didn't want me back for part time work.

    Good luck!

  • It just depends on the job. I was released lite duty at 6 weeks but as the injury didnt "officially" happen at work I would be a liability vs. if I was workmans comp I wouldof been forced to come back once released on lite duty.

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  • They are paying you 100%? What do you do loving gardener?
  • Are you back to work already?
  • Can you get disability if your not sure when you are going to be able to go to work?
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  • If you have short term disability you should be able to apply and receive it since they will not allow you to return.

    I have good benefits job, I have been off twice for 3 months at a stretch during the last three years, never missed a single pay! Once I used up all my sick and vacation time I applied for and was granted catastrophic leave. With that in place my co-workers could donate their unused sick time to me!

    Even if I have to take unpaid leave I can be off for a year before they will terminate my position. Catastrophic leave allows me to get paid that entire year!

    On top of that I have disability insurance that will kick in should I no longer be able to work here at all. I should be good for 2 years total.

    I hope to never need any of it again, but I'm not sure how this next surgery may effect my current state of affairs!

  • I also had some trouble returning to work. It really came as a shock to me.

    Finally after some back and forth stuff my work allowed me to come back with restrictions. I had been off for about 5 1/2 months by that time.

    For 3 months of that I took FMLA leave - unpaid leave, but job is protected. During that time I also had fellow employees donate their vacation time for me to take as sick leave. I am forever grateful for that!

    Then I was given 2 months of short term disability from my work. Not a 100% paycheck, but enough to get by on temporarily. They did not want me back until it was certain I could handle the job - they become liable if I am re-injured, so they take the restrictions VERY seriously.

    The donated time, disability and personal bank of sick/vacation did not cover me the whole time, so I feel terribly lucky to have been accepted back at work.
  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,518
    gracefully re-introduced (each time of surgery).
    After I had the doctors OK to return to work, my work force would only allow 1/2 days for the first two weeks, then going to 3/4 days for four more weeks and then after about 6 weeks after I had the OK from my doctor, whould my employee allow me to work full time.
    Every company is different. And I need to add those times were from 1979 until 2001.. I am not sure how everything would be handled if it was today.

    To me what is so important is that you do not allow your job to push you more than you are capable of doing. And that is hard, especially in today's economy. But also keep in mind, if your employee had you return too soon and demand too much and you had new problems, they could be in a world of hurt
  • Skibum, I am going through the same thing as you! I can't return to work until I am 100%, which is not happening. I had 13 weeks of short term disability @ 100%, 13 weeks of extended short term @ 60%, now I am transitioning into work's long term disability, which is taking forever!! I haven't gotten a paycheck since the first week in February. This really sucks. I also lost my position as Quality Control Technician. This was possible for them to replace me when all of my short term ran out. I am guaranteed a job somewhere in the plant when I can return, but that will be factory work. I really don't know if my Dr will ever release me to that. I am pretty scared. I also have 50% pay for the rest of my life if I am deemed unable to work at all. I have no idea when & if I will be able to get back to work! By the way, my injury was not work related....otherwise it would be another story, with work having me in there for 2 hours a day washing windows, cleaning bathrooms, etc...I've seen it done before. What a system!!!
  • At my 2 week post op (L5,S1 fusion - cage & screws) appt. my Dr. released me "full duty" to work and I was shocked! So were my co-workers and boss, but I did return to work on day 18 post op full time 10 hour days, 4 days a week. I am doing very well but still have that annoying nerve leg sensation/pain once in awhile.

    My employer has been very quite about my surgery and my duties and lack of restrictions, which is kind of weird, but I'm ok with it, I'm just glad I have a job right now. There are about 3 co-workers who I think sincerely care about me, but other than that I don't think anyone else really cares. This is not workers comp related, so I don't know if that matters with the way my employer has reacted to my surgery, which is basically a non-reaction. Again, I am just grateful that my recovery is going so well and I am able to work.
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