Returning to Work after Disability

“I was on temp disability and it was till 06/1/2012 should I have gone back to regular work duties?”

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One big question needs answered-were you on short term disability, or were you using the Family and Medical Leave Act? And were you reinstated to your old job? (So I guess that’s two questions…)

If you were on a STD leave, then your job was not necessarily protected, and when you returned, you could have been moved to a different job, where the duties weren’t as demanding as your old job, or maybe even completely different.

If you were on FMLA, however, then your job is protected and your employer is required to give you the same job back, with the same duties. Usually FMLA is only good for up to 12 weeks of leave.

Of course, there is the third option, where both STD and FMLA were running concurrently. I believe most companies do this, if you qualify.

Once you return to work, assuming you get your old job back, then there should be no differences in your responsibilities, unless it is stated by a physician (I’m thinking it would probably be your Pdoc in the case) that it is medically necessary.  If you and your doctor feel that you are ready to go back to your regular duties, then you should.

Ok, so, you’re back at your old job, same title and everything, but you’re not getting all the responsibilities and duties that you’re used to? And you and your Pdoc feel that you can handle them? Then it’s time you speak with your boss, or maybe even HR. Let them know that you want to be more productive and are ready to handle more at work.  Remind them that the longer you have reduced responsibilities, the longer it will take for you to get back to where you were before your leave. I read that if an employee is in a reduced-duty position for too long, then they become accustomed to it, and have a more difficult time getting back to the regular work load. That’s incentive enough to get you back to your regular duties.

If your boss doesn’t listen to you when you tell them you are ready to return to your regular duties, then you could always have your Pdoc write you a letter to give HR stating that you are capable of returning at full capacity.

Your boss could possibly just be looking out for your well-being, as well as that of the company. They don’t want you to have another instance where you would need to go on leave again. That can cost the company money, as well as be detrimental to you. Try not to get upset with your boss, because he or she isn’t giving you the amount of responsibility you are used to. Maybe (s)he just doesn’t realize you are ready and willing to work more. The best place to start is by having a conversation.

Good luck with returning to your regular work duties, and God bless!

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