Do you have an employee handbook? If so, then that’s the first place I would start looking. More and more employers are requiring return to work physicals to avoid future worker’s comp. claims.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
I think that they should let you return if you are medically released, although the Employer is generally entitled to a Fitness for Duty evaluation at their own cost. If you DID make a WC Claim, you would probably be paid for the Time Off while they decide whether or not to accommodate you. You are not really doing yourself any favors by keeping it off the WC books.
We give free general concepts to be helpful, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.
They certainly have a right to require you to see their physician for a clean bill of health. The fact that you are out of work does make in unfair. I would request in writing that they provide you with that appointment as soon as possible. They are not technically responsible for your lost wages, even if it was w/c, until you have missed 2 weeks of work, and then they only pay for 1 week. After 3 weeks of work, you would get paid for all lost time.
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