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403.38 - Modified Duty Return to Work Program

In order to maintain a safe work experience for an employee returning from an injury the district has adopted a return-to-work policy for any employees that have experienced work-related injuries. This program is designed to keep employees involved in their work environment and to assist them in continuing to be a productive member of the workforce by returning to full earning capacity as soon as possible. This program also reduces the district’s long-term insurance costs and avoids future premium increases.

Every effort will be made to meet the medical restrictions that injured employees may face. If an employee is assigned a light duty job it is considered to be a temporary assignment. As such, light duty jobs are reserved for those employees with temporary disabilities. The district will work with the medical community and insurance company to provide work that meets the medical restrictions of the employee when possible. These job duties may be associated with tasks within the structure of the school district or tasks in the community.

Employee Responsibilities:
The employee must:

  • Be aware of all medical restrictions at all times.
  • Not attempt tasks that exceed medical restrictions. If the employee has a question about the tasks at hand and restrictions the employee should talk to their physician and, if necessary, get new restrictions in writing that allow for the performance of these tasks.
  • Understand that the medical restrictions are in effect 24 hours per day.
  • Be careful during non-work hours to ensure the restrictions are maintained. For hobbies or outside interests, talk to the treating physician about possible conflicts. Follow the physician’s instructions.
  • Report for work to all light duty jobs on time and ready to work. Failing to report to or being late for light duty jobs has the same consequences as if absent or late for regular duty jobs.
  • Engage in activities that are consistent with medical restrictions and/or treatment patterns whether on or off the job. If not, the employee is subject to possible disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Administrative Responsibilities:
The administrator, manager, or supervisor will:

  • Take time to handle injuries properly.
  • Authorize medical attention immediately if needed.
  • Provide necessary authorization forms.
  • Investigate the circumstances of the reported injury and record all pertinent data.
  • Determine preventative measures or actions and make corrections immediately.
  • Explain all modified jobs in detail to the employee and point out any safety precautions that may exist.
  • Know the employee and their medical restrictions. Ensure you and/or the employee do not exceed the restrictions unintentionally.
  • Add validity to the practice by keeping informed about the employee’s recovery, current treatment, and how the employee perceives the quality of medical treatment. The quality of treatment is directly related to how fast the employee recovers and avoids re-injury in the future.

Adopted: 9/12
Reviewed: 4/13; 9/14; 8/17; 6/20; 4/23
Related Policy: 403.38-E