Knowledge Base

If a worker is not cooperating with return to work based on their personal preference (not based on medical reason) what are the next steps for the employer? For example, if suitable work is available but the worker does not like the work being offered, how far does the employer have to go to accommodate?

Teresa (WorkSafeBC): The duty to cooperate requires workers to “not unreasonably” refuse suitable work when it is made available by an employer with whom the worker has an existing employment relationship.

If a worker refuses work duties that are suitable and available, WorkSafeBC will investigate to determine the reasonableness of the worker’s refusal. If WorkSafeBC decides the worker unreasonably refused an offer of suitable work, the worker’s wage-loss or wage-loss equivalency benefits may be reduced effective the date the work was suitable and available, as determined by WorkSafeBC.

Amanda (TeksMed Services): Accommodations are based on medical clearances and abilities, not worker preference. If the suitable/modified work or accommodation is being declined due to preference, WorkSafeBC can deem the offer suitable and conclude benefits or suspend wage loss for the worker failing in their Duty to Cooperate.