Temporary disability benefits will be terminated once you have reached “maximum medical improvement” from treatment, even if you cannot return to work full duty or even to the same line of work. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the federal American with Disabilities Act require employers to offer “reasonable accommodations” for your disability. A reasonable accommodation may include helping you to lift heavy items, allowing you to stand and stretch periodically, or installing an ergonomic keyboard. Keep in mind though, that an employer cannot be forced to keep you on the payroll if you are unable to perform the essential functions of your job.
If you believe that your employer may make simple adjustments which would allow you to do your job, without disrupting the business, you should ask your doctor to provide you with a note indicating that such an accommodation is necessary. If your employer refuses to make these permanent adjustments which will permit you to keep working, then you should consult with an attorney who specializes in employment law. The Division of Workers’ Compensation does not have jurisdiction to decide these issues.
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