Returning to work after an injury in North Carolina might look different than your previous experience. Depending on the severity of your injury and the length of your recovery, you may need accommodations to help you perform your job.
Assessing your need for support will involve the input of your medical team and your employer. Staying informed of your condition and the degree of your recovery can help you advocate for your rights and make sure you get the support you need.
Changes to your work environment
Research indicates that you are more likely to return to work if you do so quickly. While you do not want to jeopardize your physical health because you return too soon, making goals for your recovery and your career might give you the incentive to get back to your job as soon as possible. According to the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources, if your employer has available work for you, they should accommodate your return in compliance with the instructions given by your health care provider. Such modifications may include the following:
- Technological assistance
- Ramp installation
- Workstation optimization
- Material aids
Modifications to scheduling and travel
As you adjust to working again, you might need to work a shortened schedule. You can collaborate with your employer to discuss the possibility of working a modified schedule until you can reasonably resume your former responsibilities.
If you cannot drive yet, you might need to rely on public transportation or other people to give you rides which could complicate your work schedule. Or, your health may not have reached a point yet where you can reasonably travel to the office. Telecommuting provides a great alternative. You could even consider asking your employer about implementing a hybrid schedule until you feel ready to go back to the office full time.
Knowing the types of modifications you may need can help you make informed decisions as you prepare to return to work.