Your Rights Returning to Work after an Oregon Wokplace Injury or Illness.

My previous blog posts in this ongoing series about workers’ compensation in the state of Oregon covered the following topics:

  1. How to file an Oregon workers’ compensation claim.
  2. Obtaining medical treatment in your Oregon workers’ compensation claim.
  3. Recovering lost wages in your Oregon workers’ compensation claim.
  4. Acceptance or denial of your claim and the “interim period”.
  5. Medical treatment concerns in your Oregon workers’ compensation claim.

In this post, I will discuss your rights when returning to work after being treated for a workplace injury or illness, and I will explain what reemployment assistance is available to you.

Under Oregon law, employers who have more than twenty workers are required to return injured workers to their jobs or to a similar, suitable job after the worker’s healthcare provider decides releases him/her to return to work.  The workers’ compensation insurance company will notify the injured worker of that release date.

In order to be reinstated by your employer in your former position or one similar to it, you must provide the employer with this notice within 7 days of receiving it.  If your employer brings you back on with fewer hours or at a reduced pay rate, you will receive temporarily disability payments to make up for those lost wages.

Oregon’s Programs for Employers

The state of Oregon has implemented a program called the Preferred Worker Program (PWP) that helps workers stay on the job or get back to work.  Depending on the nature of your on-the-job injury, your employer might be eligible for benefits from the state that assist in returning you to lighter work while your claim is open.  If you are eligible for the PWP, then you will be provided with an ID card and information about the program once  your claim is closed.

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