Bluffton, SC asked in Employment Law for South Carolina

Q: If a company will not acomodate my restrictions when returning from STD can I quit w/o paying back benefits?

I had Bi knee replacement and my STD ended 12/22. LTD is still pending. My Dr. Released me back to work with restrictions, the company will not accomodate them. If I quit will I be liable to pay back benefits that the company paid while I was on company leave?

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: I practice employment law in NC, however, I would not quit my job voluntarily, if I were you. Voluntary resignation will likely preclude you from asserting potential employment and workers' compensation claims you may have. Moreover, you would probably be giving up your potential right to receive unemployment benefits. On the other hand, if your employer terminates you due to your inability to perform your job duties, you may potentially have an employment cause of action against your employer as well as potential unemployment benefits.

Next, was this a work related injury by any chance? Under NC law, if you injured your knee at work as a result of an accident, you may have a workers' compensation claim. If an employee sustains a work related injury, his or her employer must accommodate assigned work restrictions. If the employer refuses or is unable to accommodate work restrictions, the injured worker will most likely be entitled to TTD indemnity benefits. Moreover, even employer who terminate employees for reasons entirely unrelated to the work injury are running a huge risk in NC because they will most likely be unable to subsequently force former employee to accept suitable employment. Moreover, termination for any reason may give rise to some employment related causes of action, such as retaliation. SC may differs from NC law, however, there will be some commonalities. You should contact a SC attorney who does workers' compensation and employment law.

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