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Return to Work Procedures

  1. Employees with a work-related accident/injury or illness shall notify their supervisor and Absence Programs Coordinator immediately following a work-related accident/injury, and comply with all applicable Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) & Workers' Compensation policies and procedures.

  2. Supervisors shall notify the Absence Programs Coordinator immediately when an employee is expected to be absent for any period of time for a work-related injury or illness. Supervisors shall notify Human Resources as soon as possible when an employee is expected to be absent for more than five consecutive workdays for a personal injury, illness or other medical reason. Supervisors and employees shall comply with applicable VSDP, Department of Human Resource Management leave policies, and Workers' Compensation policies and procedures.

  3. Employees returning to full duty following any absence resulting from a work-related accident/injury or from a personal injury or illness excused by an authorized medical provider, must provide their supervisor with documentation from the authorized medical provider which excuses (no duty) the just concluded absence and recommends return to full duty, if applicable. If the authorized medical provider recommends light or modified duty, this documentation must be provided to the employee's supervisor. Employees may not return to work following an absence excused by an authorized medical provider, without documentation from the authorized medical provider which approves/authorizes return to work in a full, light or modified duty status.

  4. Supervisors and the employee, in conjunction with the Department of Human Resources Absence Programs Coordinator shall, within five (5) business days, review the authorized medical provider's light or modified duty recommendations/restrictions. Whenever possible the employee shall be assigned to a RTWDA. If disagreement arises between the supervisor and the employee concerning the capabilities of the employee or the appropriateness of the RTWDA, the matter shall, within five (5) business days, be referred to upper management within the supervisor's/employee's department and the Department of Human Resources Absence Programs Coordinator.

  5. The employee's supervisor, in conjunction with the Department of Human Resources Absence Programs Coordinator, using the light/modified duty restrictions provided by the authorized medical provider, shall complete a RTW Position Requirements Worksheet for any assigned RTWDA (light, modified or alternate duty). This worksheet shall be reviewed by the supervisor and employee together, signed by the supervisor and by the employee and forwarded to the Department of Human Resources RTW Coordinator. A copy of the physician's or VSDP Third Party Administrator (TPA) document that establishes the duty restrictions shall be attached to the RTW Position Requirements Worksheet. In instances requiring clarification of restrictions or applicability of the RTWDA, a copy of the RTW Position Requirements Worksheet and the Employee's Work Profile will be provided to the
    treating physician for review.

  6. RTWDAs shall be temporary (except where there may be implications concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act - ADA) and made available to those employees who are expected to return to full duty in their previously held position in the home department. Long-term restrictions shall be evaluated for applicability to the ADA. RTWDAs may be made for 30 calendar days and may not normally exceed 120 days. At the conclusion of 30 days, the supervisor in consultation with department management, and the Department of Human Resources may terminate the RTWDA assignment thus placing the employee on Leave With or Without Pay, VSDP shortterm disability, VSDP long-term disability or personal/workers' compensation leave, as appropriate. On a case-by-case basis, at the supervisor's discretion, in consultation with the Return to Work Committee, employees unable to return to full duty may also:

    1. be continued in the RTWDA assignment for 30 day increments, not to normally exceed 120 days, with review following each increment;

    2. be required to explore the option of requesting a leave of absence; be required to explore the option of filing for a VRS disability retirement, if eligible;

    3. be required to explore pursuing other employment opportunities.

  7. RTWDAs must meet department/university staffing needs and accommodate the employee's medical restrictions while taking into consideration the welfare and safety of the employee and their co-workers.

  8. A RTWDA shall not exceed the level of responsibility of the regularly assigned position/function.

  9. RTWDAs may be altered, upgraded, or changed in a manner consistent with medical restrictions and in accordance with the employee's condition.

  10. Departments shall look at all areas within their scope of responsibility, not just the returning employee's position, for available light and modified RTWDAs.

  11. If a light or modified RTWDA is not available within the home department, the home department supervisor shall notify the Return to Work Coordinator and seek an alternate duty assignment in a host department. If a host department alternate duty assignment is not available the home department supervisor shall notify the Return to Work Coordinator.

  12. Funding of the employee's position shall be the responsibility of the home department regardless of the location of the RTWDA.

  13. The home or host department supervisor, as applicable, shall review the RTWDA monthly to evaluate the employee's progress toward return to regular duties. The employee may be requested to provide updated medical information concerning physical capabilities and prognosis from the authorized medical provider during this review. The host department supervisor shall keep the home department supervisor and the Absence Programs Coordinator advised of the employee's status following each four week evaluation.

  14. The employee and supervisor shall notify the Absence Programs Coordinator on the employee's return to regular work from light, modified or alternate duty. The employee shall provide a written release for full duty from the authorized medical provider prior to the employee's return to full duty. An employee may not return to full duty without a release to full duty from the authorized medical provider.

  15. Supervisors shall maintain adequate documentation to ensure equal opportunities have been afforded. Copies of all documentation shall be forwarded to the Absence Programs Coordinator.