When used in the context of labor law, the term ‘light duty’ has a number of meanings. The term ‘light duty’ ordinarily refers to temporary or permanent work that is physically or mentally less demanding than normal job duties.
Some organizations use the term ‘light duty’ to mean simply excusing an employee from performing those job functions that s/he is unable to perform on account of a disability. ‘Light duty’ also may consist of particular positions less physically or mentally demanding duties, created particularly for the purpose of providing alternative work for employees who are unable to perform some or all of their routine duties.
The term is often seen associated with workers compensation programs.
The following is an example of a case law defining the term:
Light duty is a form of less strenuous activity available to those employees whose limitations are not due to occupational injury or illness. [Peebles v. Potter, 354 F.3d 761 (8th Cir. 2004)].