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    Default Employee Returning to Work After an Injury

    We had an employee who injured himself at home a few weeks ago. He was removing an AC window unit and somehow the unit fell on his head. He brushed it off and went on about his business. A short time later (not sure of duration), he walked out to his car to run an errand and fell face first on the pavement, hitting his head again. He immediately went into a seizure and emergency personnel were called. He was transported to a local hospital and then transferred to a larger hospital in a nearby larger city. He was hospitalized for three days and released.

    Now, here's the good, bad and the ugly. The good is that he is expected to make a full recovery. The bad (and the ugly) is that he had/has no medical insurance. I have paperwork from a resident doctor that treated him saying he can come back to work on October 22 with some restrictions with standing, sitting and lifting. The note also says that he needs to be on anti-seizure medication for 6 months and that he cannot drive until he's been seizure free for those 6 months (and as dictated by state law).

    I spoke with the employee this morning and he is very anxious to get back to work next Monday. He is supposed to be making a follow-up appointment with a doctor (he does not have one) so that his anti-seizure medication is monitored, especially the side effects (possible liver damage, headache, gastro and neurological problems. As of this morning, he has not made the appointment. He makes $12 an hour and is limited with money (hence the reason why he chose not to take medical insurance with us). When I asked him if he is still on medication, he said yes. He also indicated that he has been driving which he is not supposed to be doing.

    I guess my questions are these - if he is prohibited to drive for six months, are we responsible at all if he chooses to drive to/from work? Also, he was pretty quick to tell me that he's taking the anti-seizure medication but I have a feeling he is not - or, is going against what the doctors told him to do/not do because of his financial situation. I'd feel more comfortable getting a more recent doctor's note but I can only go by what the resident doctor gave me from the hospital.

    This post is longer than I anticipated, sorry. The bottom line is that he is scheduled to come back to work next Monday and he intends on driving. I also don't like the fact that he is not currently being monitored by a doctor after his release a week ago (the note stressed that he needs to find a doctor for followup).

    If anyone could shed some light on how I can best proceed from an employer standpoint, I'd greatly appreciate it. I want to make sure I'm covering all angles.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Employee Returning to Work from Injury (NH)

    Quote Quoting sweetsncheese
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    I guess my questions are these - if he is prohibited to drive for six months, are we responsible at all if he chooses to drive to/from work?
    Responsible for what?
    Quote Quoting sweetsncheese
    Also, he was pretty quick to tell me that he's taking the anti-seizure medication but I have a feeling he is not - or, is going against what the doctors told him to do/not do because of his financial situation. I'd feel more comfortable getting a more recent doctor's note but I can only go by what the resident doctor gave me from the hospital.
    You could offer to pay for a doctor visit, for an updated clearance for return to work.

    If his work involves driving, operating machinery, or anything similar, I would personally insist upon a medical clearance specific to those tasks before allowing him to resume those job duties, and keep him on restricted duty until he was cleared.

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