August 11, 2019

Do I Need to Accept a Light Duty Job Offer if it Was Approved by My Medical Provider?

injured worker

Under RCW 51.32.090(4), an injured worker’s employer of injury can request that an injured worker on time loss be certified by his or her attending medical provider to work a designated light duty position.

If the attending medical provider releases the worker to the light duty job and the employer offers the job to the worker, time loss benefits are terminated whether the worker accepts the job or not.

Under RCW 51.32.090(4), the employer of injury must meet specific criteria for the light duty job offer to be valid; for instance, the employer of injury must supply the attending provider “a statement describing the work available with the employer of injury in terms that will enable the physician or licensed advanced registered nurse practitioner to relate the physical activities of the job to the worker’s disability.”

In 1983, the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals held that the certification of a light duty job offer under RCW 51.32.090(4) must be from the attending medical provider; Certification from an independent medical examiner will not suffice. In re O.C. Thompson, BIIA Dec., 60,203 (1983).