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Back injury on the job. Employer refuses dr. request for chair to sit when having pain. Is this legal?

Honolulu, HI |

Nowhere in the job description does it say that I would have to lift heavy objects. During certain times of the year I am frequently lifting large heavy wood shelves to redo the interior of the store. Many of my coworkers have injured themselves by dropping shelves on their toes. This retail job (large well known corporation) also has a dress code of flip flops so crushing toenails is not uncommon. Our injuries get swept under the rug. I've had severe back pain with sciatica and saw a Dr. and go to physical therapy. All my doctor asked was that I have a place to sit for little amounts of time when having pain at work and the company relations rep denied it saying that I can clock out and go off premises and sit if I need to and not get paid for it.

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Attorney answers 3


Your employer MUST observe the doctor's restrictions and provide work with in the restrictions or tell you to stay home and pay you TTD. You need an experienced WC attorney to enforce those restrictions.

As regards the dress code, consult an employment law attorney or check with the WC carrier. I would think that any employer who mandated employees expose themselves to exponentially greater injury (by requiring that yo perform hazardous tasks virtually without shoes) would find their WC rates exponentially higher or be uninsurable.

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I agree with the previous answer. The employer must abide by the physicians restrictions but this happens to my clients fairly regularly. Next time you are at the drs office let the dr know that they are not doing what he has asked so that maybe he or she will call the employer.


I don't think the situation will change until you hire a WC Attorney to enforce your rights and their obligations. You have to decide whether to accept it, or change it.

We offer general concepts, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.