Legal Question in Workers Comp in California

We are a pest control company and one of our spray technicians has filed a wc claim saying he hurt his back. His job entails dragging a long hose, crawling under houses, up ladders to 2nd stories for bees, and driving a truck. If his doctor clears him for full duty, and he claims again that he hurt his back, what are our obligations? Also, if his doctor says he can return to work with "limitations" and his job cannot be done with "limitations" and there is no other job for him to do, can we replace him?

Asked on 11/10/10, 2:03 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

George Shers Law Offices of Georges H. Shers

If the Dr. releases him to return to full duties and you have such a position available, you should take him back. It is illegal to "fire" someone just because they suffered an at work injury. If he then reinjures his back his has a new WC claim. If he has work limitation and you have no light duty work that he can do, you do not have to take him back to work.

You should speak to your WC insurance carrier, as they should have an education program covering this for their insurereds

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Answered on 11/16/10, 12:26 am

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