Offers of Suitable Work
Employers know that a reasonable job offer is a powerful tool for terminating workers’ compensation benefits. However, the Workers' Compensation Act states that the offer must be "bona fide" and the job "suitable." The reasonableness of a job offer is determined on a case-by-case basis. The hearing officer will consider whether the work is within your physical capacity, whether it poses a threat to your health and safety, and whether it is a reasonable distance from your home. If you reject the offer, the hearing officer will disqualify you from receiving further wage loss benefits unless he finds you had “good and reasonable cause.” The hearing officer will consider the timing of the offer, if you have moved and your reasons for moving, your diligence in trying to return to work, whether you have returned to work with another employer, and whether the effort, risk, sacrifice or expense is such that a reasonable person would not accept the offer. The Act does not specify that the offer must be in writing, but most employers will put the offer in writing so they can later show the hearing officer that the offer was made. The offer should contain a detailed description of the physical requirements of the job so that your doctor can review it to determine if it is suitable to your injury and work restrictions.