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Can I refuse a limited duty work offer after a job injury?

Workers' compensation benefits are a right to which everyone is entitled. Federal workers are no exception, even if the vehicles for delivering those benefits vary from what are available for private sector employees.

Under the federal system, the Office of Workers Compensation Programs oversees things, and the same rules apply across the country. So, whether you work in Texas, Georgia or some other state, if you have been hurt on the job, you are entitled to certain benefits. You also face the same potential hurdles in obtaining them. Knowing the full scope of your rights is crucial.

There may be times when the doctor's report on your particular injury indicates that you have recovered enough that you are fit for some sort of duty, though perhaps not the work you were doing before. In such circumstances, Department of Labor rules state that your agency can bring you back to work on light or limited duty and you are required to accept the position.

However, that work has to be reasonable and suitable for your skills and condition. If you don't think it is, you have a right to refuse the offer. There may be consequences to such action that deserve consideration.

For example, your rejection could result in you losing any Continuation of Pay benefits you may have been receiving. Also, refusing to take a position offered effectively triggers an appeal process.

To understand your full rights and options in this regard and to be sure you are confident that the case you present is solid; you owe it to yourself to have an experienced legal advocate at your side.

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