Today Federated Insurance is sharing one of our “HR Questions of the Month” regarding employment-related practices liability issues.
Question: Our employee has tendonitis. His condition has not seen any improvement, if anything he has experienced regression. To date we have conducted two ergonomic assessments. We made the recommended adjustments following both assessments. We have also accommodated the employee throughout his employment with modified duty and modified schedule as dictated by the employee's physician and the employee's feelings for what he can undertake day to day. The employee’s work hours since December of 2016 have averaged 20.65 hours/week. Because of this reduction in work hours and the volume of work he is producing, we have hired a new full-time employee to handle what the employee has not been producing, as well as to meet the overall increased work load demands of our engineering department. We have three employees in this group and our work volume is such that we need all three to be productive 40 hours each week. However, we are not able to spread this out evenly and the other two engineers are having to work in excess of 40 hours to handle the volume that the employee is unable to produce. This employee sent an email today advising that “both of his hands are pretty messed up now, to the point that I cannot move them without being in a lot of pain. I cannot work anymore and I do not know if or when I will be able to. The medications I’ve been given are doing a bad job of dulling the pain, and it continues to get worse. I have a physical therapy appointment on Monday and a primary care appointment on Tuesday. I don’t know if they will help to get me back to work, and I don’t know when that will be.” We are really struggling with how to move forward properly with this employee and would really appreciate some guidance here. More