Return to Work Procedure for Employees on Worker's Compensation
In accordance with Permanent Memorandum 70 and the Office of Risk Management Transitional Duty Return to Work Plan, the following procedure will be used when an employee is returning from leave due to a workplace injury.
It is the injured employee’s responsibility to immediately notify their supervisor of the fact that their physician has released them to return to duty.
If the physician has released them for modified duty only, the Assistant Director of Human Resource Management (HRM) or his/her designee will consult with the injured employee, the department head (Chair, Director, etc.) or their designee, the Office of Risk Management, and the medical health care provider to determine if a suitable modified work position is available. Other individuals may participate in the process, however HRM will have the final decision.
The evaluation will be based on, but not limited to, a list of essential duties (based on the job description for which the employee was hired), the estimated time the injured employee will need to remain in the modified position, along with the Job Analysis form and the Physician’s Modified Work Information sheet completed by the employee’s physician.
HRM shall identify job functions and physical requirements that meet the limitations specified by the injured employee’s physician for modified duty. Every effort will be made to place the employee in his/her original work unit, however, if this is not possible, an alternative work assignment may be recommended as long as the conditions for return to work outlined in PM 70 are met. The appropriate administrator/supervisor of the work unit in the modified duty assignment must approve the proposed placement prior to further action being taken.
If no temporary modified position is identified for placement, the injured employee will remain on Worker’s Compensation until released by their physician for duty without limitations. HRM will document this review and determination in writing and notify Louisiana Office of Risk Management.
HRM will review the modified assignment every 30 days to determine if the employee is still in transition based on the physician’s recommendation. An updated physician’s statement can be requested at any time. The employee will return to their previous job immediately upon medical release from the health care provider. An employee who refuses to return to “transitional” duty or previous job function for which he or she was medically released will be reported to the Louisiana Office of Risk Management for appropriate action.
Civil Service rules, as outlined below, shall govern personnel actions for classified employees accepting “transitional” duty assignments:
- Employees may be detailed to special duty, with Civil Service approval, for a period not to exceed six months (usual time required for an employee to remain on Workers’ Compensation). No extension of this type of detail shall be authorized.
- The detail to special duty may be lateral or downward. Details to a higher position may also be approved on a case-by-case basis, when justified in writing.
- A position may be double encumbered, if necessary.
- The employee’s base pay cannot be reduced during the detail to special duty.