Medical Appointments During Work Hours – A doctor’s appointment is important, you need to heal! It’s equally as important that you show up to that doctor’s appointment, and sometimes that means doing so during work hours.
So what happens if your employer takes issue with the fact that you have a scheduled appointment within your regular working hours? Let’s take a few minutes to go over our suggestions.
Medical Appointments During Work Hours – Make sure your priorities are in order
Rule number one here is to keep in mind that your health is your and our top priority. When you’ve been injured on the job, your main goal should be to attend each and every medical appointment that is scheduled and to give it your absolute best. The end result is getting back to 100% in order to continue living your life and supporting your family. If that means there’s a choice between work and a scheduled appointment, it’s in your best interest to keep the appointment.
Don’t let your employer intimidate you
Your employer cannot and should not be intimidating you or trying to punish you for scheduling a medical appointment during work hours. If you notice this happening, that’s a huge red flag in the state of Colorado and a sign that you need an attorney. We’ve had to go to court many times for pre-hearings and get orders from judges directing employers not to prohibit their employees (our clients) from going to medical appointments.
That being said, if your medical provider gives you a choice between an appointment that is during your work hours and one that is outside of your working hours, we do recommend working with your employer and pick the latter. The more time you can be working, the better it is for you financially, as well as for your overall well being. However, if your only option is to book an appointment during work hours, by all means, take it!
Your employer says okay, go ahead and head over to your appointment, but make sure you clock out first. Now you’ve found yourself in a situation where you’re qualifying for lost wages. If you have to clock out due to a medical appointment caused by an injury obtained while on the job, we compare your paycheck to those from before your injury to understand the average difference. Then, if we can show you missed a specified amount of time due to medical appointments during that pay period, you’ll receive your pay plus partial disability (paid by the insurance company), which is two-thirds of your lost wages. Bottom line? Clocking out is fine, but you’re entitled to receive proper pay for the missed time.
Making up for lost time
Finally, we have a lot of clients ask a question similar to “I work 8 am-5 pm and have a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday from 3-4 pm. How should I handle that last hour of work?” Generally speaking, it’s best to return to work and get in as much time as you can, but we know there will be times when that’s just not practical or possible.
For example, even though you get out of your appointment at 4:00, it may be 4:30 or 4:45 before you get back to work. Is it worth going back for just 15-30 minutes? In such a scenario, you should absolutely work this out with your employer. You definitely do not want to do anything that enables them to say you left the doctor’s office and then just went home without contacting them. If you communicate everything transparently with your employer, things will work out just fine.
Medical Appointments During Work Hours – As always, we’re here to help!
We here at Kaplan Morrell are passionate about helping Colorado workers and their families get the benefits they deserve as a result of a work-related injury. We can help recover lost wages, medical care, and other assistance you’re entitled to under the law. If you think we might be able to help, please give us a call at (970) 356-9898 to arrange an initial consultation – which is always free! Worker’s compensation is all we do, and we look forward to helping you in your time of need.