Can Your Employer Require That You Seek Medical Care Outside of Working Hours?
If you are injured on the job in the State of Indiana, your employer has the right to direct your medical care. This means that your boss can tell you which doctors and therapists to see for your care. In turn, he or she is responsible to pay 100 percent of your medical treatment costs. In other words, it’s not “free” if you elect to go to your own doctors regarding an injury or condition that resulted while you were working.
What if your employer requires you to go to a doctor or receive therapy outside of work hours? Is this fair? Is this legal?
While there is no law that addresses this question, it is a common scenario. Based upon our experiences helping clients that find themselves in this situation, our firm maintains that the Indiana Workers Compensation Board and the judges who sit on that board typically apply a reasonableness standard in these situations. They consider whether or not it is reasonable to make you go to the doctor or therapy provider before or after work, or on a day off work. In most cases, it is probably reasonable to expect you to make appointments outside of your work hours unless you have family obligations that make it difficult or impossible, such as daycare, caring for an elderly person, or other conflicts that existed when you were hurt at work.
As there are six different Workers Compensation judges, each of whom govern a different portion of the State, we cannot know how each judge will rule in each case. However, if you are faced with this situation, consider the “reasonableness” of your boss’s demands before you make an assumption that he or she is doing something illegal. If you have any questions, or need assistance with your case, please call one of the attorneys at Klezmer-Maudlin, PC. We are here anytime to help you navigate the confusion about your rights as an injured worker.