The law does not require the employer to offer a job. Most enlightened employers, however, try to make work available for their injured employees whenever they can. First of all, there is a money factor. An employer is better off to have an individual on the job doing work in return for wages than to have the individual at home receiving workers' compensation. Accordingly, although there is no legal requirement that an employer offer work, it is financially better off if it does.
Even more important, it must be remembered that everyone is better off if the worker goes back to work as soon as possible. Most men and women in our society recognize their responsibility to perform work in return for their wages. Most people want to go back to the job as soon as they can. Most people who have worked and supported themselves and/or their families feel uncomfortable when they are not able to work. If they remain in that unhappy and uncomfortable state longer than is necessary, it becomes harder and harder for them to go back to their jobs.
Many employers in Michigan are finding that disabilities are shorter and the costs lower if they are willing to go out of their way in helping their injured employees get back to the job. Sometimes this requires making a small change in the person's work station. Sometimes it requires moving some people around in order to find a job the person can do. Some employers even create special "transitional workshops" for injured employees to work in temporarily. Whatever it takes, most people find that the sooner an employee can get back to the job, the better off everyone is.