The railroads have hired occupational therapists and vocational rehabilitation experts to work between the injured employee and their doctors. They have created these vocational rehab departments to collect information on injured railroad workers to enable the carrier to ultimately direct an injured employee to interview for an alternative job within the company. The job offered is usually outside of your craft and in another state. An injured railroader who cannot return to their craft is often put in contact with a supervisor to barter for a new job with less pay, thereby reducing the carrier’s liability for the full brunt of a future wage claim when a career has been lost due to an on-the-job injury.
Rehabilitation issues are unique to each case and they are so complicated that it is impossible to give a general statement on how to respond to these various programs. Therefore, if you have a serious injury or disability, which may prevent you from returning to your normal job at the railroad, you should consult with a law firm experienced in handling FELA claims. Only an experienced FELA attorney can help you weigh your own interests against the railroad’s efforts to provide you possible alternative employment in a lesser field.