After a workplace injury, can I be forced to take PTO for related doctor visits and physical therapy?

The answer to this question depends on many factors, including company policies and, if you're in a union, what's spelled out in the union contract.

Employees hurt in the workplace—or while performing duties within the course and scope of employment—may be entitled to a range of workers' compensation benefits. For employees out of work for seven or more days due to their injuries, these benefits can include temporary total disability payments of two-thirds their weekly wage. This is up to a maximum of $575 each week. Individuals receiving these benefits receive workers' compensation for their time, including whatever is necessary for related doctor visits and physical therapy.

Georgia workers approved for light duty may receive temporary partial disability payments through workers' compensation to make up for lower wages. People receiving these benefits are often still recovering from their injuries, necessitating periodic doctors' appointments and physical therapy visits. In such cases, this time away from work is often covered by workers' compensation.

using PTOHowever, employees with work restrictions who can return to work full time are often at the mercy of company policies regarding medical appointments and time off. As a result, employees may be forced to use PTO for workplace injury-related appointments or take the time unpaid.

Additionally, employees who were off work for fewer than seven days and ineligible for workers' compensation temporary partial or total disability payments, will likely be expected to use PTO for their doctors'
and physical therapy appointments, or take time off without being paid.

If you're part of a union but not familiar with the particular contract guidelines regarding workers' comp and medical appointments, your union steward should be able to answer any questions.

Consult a Knowledgeable Georgia Attorney About Workers' Comp 

If you were injured in a Georgia workplace accident, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. The skilled attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak can help you understand your legal rights and options, and ensure you receive the proper benefits.

Do you have questions about your workers' compensation case? Contact us today to arrange an appointment for a free initial consultation.