RETURN TO WORK POLICY
8.1 RETURN TO WORK PROCEDURE
An employee who has been ill or injured shall obtain a medical release from their treating physician prior to returning to work indicating fitness to return to duty, if:
1. the employee has received emergency treatment at a hospital;
2. the employee has been hospitalized for treatment of any condition;
3. the employee has missed more than three (3) consecutive days from work; or
4. the employee’s supervisor has reason to believe that the physical condition of the employee could result in danger to persons or property or interferes with normal work performance.
8.2 MODIFIED DUTY
The purpose of this section is to provide a process by which injured and ill employees may receive temporary work assignments that will benefit their full recovery. It is not intended to be used as a disability program.
When an employee is required to be absent from work because of an extended period of recovery from injury or illness, the employee’s case will be reviewed by his/her supervisor and the Director of Human Resources. An examination and evaluation conducted by the attending physician will be used to determine the capabilities and prognosis for recovery of the injured or ill employee. A review of potential work assignments will be conducted to determine if an assignment is available which matches the injured or ill employee’s training, skills, capabilities, and medical restrictions.
8.3 WORK ASSIGNMENT
A modified duty work assignment will be offered to an injured or ill employee if:
1. a modified duty work assignment would enhance the recovery of an injured or ill employee and facilitate the employee’s return to the regular duty work assignment held prior to the injury or illness; and
2. the employee’s supervisor determines that modified duty is available. If no modified duty can be found within the department, the employee may be temporarily assigned to work in another department, if there is an existing opening for which the employee is qualified and that complies with the employee’s work restrictions. The salary of an employee on modified duty will be paid by his/her department and the employee will be returned to his/her original position and department when released for full duty. If modified duty can not be found the College will not create a position and the employee will remain on leave.
A modified duty work assignment may last until the time the attending physician has set as the expected date to return to the employee’s previous work assignment, but not to exceed three (3) months unless the College President gives written approval for a longer period.
8.4 CONDITIONS OF MODIFIED DUTY
As a condition of continuing in a modified duty work assignment, an employee must:
1. adhere to prescribed treatment and make reasonable efforts toward rehabilitation;
2. accept progressively more demanding assignments as the employee’s condition improves; and
3. make visible progress in returning to full performance capability.
8.5 TERMINATION OF MODIFIED DUTY
An employee’s modified duty work assignment will be terminated if:
1. the employee is found performing beyond the modified duty restrictions;
2. the work assignment is completed;
3. the employee performs unsatisfactorily in the position; or
4. budgetary constraints do not allow continuation of the position.
If an employee’s injury or illness will permanently prevent him/her from performing the essential functions of his/her regularly assigned duties, the Director of Human Resources in conjunction with the supervisor shall attempt to locate a suitable College position for the employee. Such position must be authorized and vacant and the individual must be qualified to perform the essential functions of the position. If no position is available at the time the individual is determined physically unable to perform the essential functions of his/her job, or, should the employee refuse to accept an available position, then termination of employment will occur. The College will not create a position.