Definition of Light Duty
Light duty is the term that is used for work that a treating doctor says will fall within the physical restrictions of an injured worker while that worker continues to heal from a work-related injury or illness. When you suffer a work-related injury or illness, you are entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits, which includes the medical care and treatment that you require to recover from your injury or illness and return to the position that you had before that injury or illness, provided that the position is still available. As you recover from your injury or illness, you may reach a point where you are still not able to do the job that you had before your injury or illness, but your treating doctor says that you are able to do light duty work.
In most states, your employer is required to provide you with light duty work. However, your employer may say that they have no light duty work available. If your employer does have light duty work available, you do not have to accept it. In some states, if you do accept light duty work, you may be able to continue receiving workers' compensation benefits to make up the difference in what the light duty work will pay for what you would have earned in the position you had before your injury or illness.