5:022 Return to Work
|Austin Peay State
|Return to Work
||March 25, 2017
||Vice President for Finance and Administration
It is the policy of Austin Peay State University to offer light-duty assignments complying
with physician restrictions following a work-related injury.
The purpose of this policy is to establish a program to expedite recovery of employees
with work-related injuries by returning them to productive employment status as soon
as possible while minimizing the risk of re-injury.
-Authorized treating physician
-Modified/Transitional duty assignment
-Modified/Transitional Work Requirements
-Guidelines for Developing a Return-to-Work Assignment
The doctor approved to treat the compensable injury. This physician is selected from
the state’s workers’ compensation preferred provider network.
The employee’s pre-injury duties and tasks.
A restricted or light duty short-term position, for a defined period, that recognizes
an employee’s temporary limitations during recovery and rehabilitation as set forth
by the Authorized Treating Physician.
An accident arising out of and in the course of employment.
A disease arising out of and in the course of employment, but not an ordinary disease
of life to which the general public is exposed outside of the employment.
- The intent of the program is to be supportive of temporary assignments for employees
placed on light or sedentary light duty restrictions by their Authorized Treating
Physician during recovery. This policy does not address the procedure for assessing
requirements for reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) or eligibility for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or Tennessee
Family Leave Act (TFLA).
- The policy shall apply to employees who are on leave as a result of work related injuries
or illnesses and who are receiving workers’ compensation benefits and who are restricted
in the performance of their duties due to compensable work-related injuries.
- The University does not guarantee placement and is under no obligation to offer, create,
or encumber any specific position for purposes of offering placement.
- In the event an employee refuses a Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment outside the
employee’s FMLA leave eligibility period, which is within the employee’s medical restrictions,
the University is not obligated to provide alternatives.
- Failure to accept a Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment that has been approved by
the Authorized Treating Physician may result in reduction of the workers’ compensation
wage replacement benefits and/or disciplinary action.
- A Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment must meet the University’s staffing needs.
- For any return-to-work program to be successful, the cooperation of the employee,
the employee’s department (or another department), Human Resources and the employee’s
Authorized Treating Physician is necessary.
- Objectives include, but are not limited to:
- Assist the employee to return to work as soon as possible;
- Maintain pre-injury income;
- Minimize work delays/interruptions;
- Maintain communication with employee;
- Minimize isolation and assist the injured employee in maintaining a positive connection
to the workplace;
- Maintain pre-injury routine;
- Confirm commitment to the employee;
- Reduce workers’ compensation claim costs.
- For work to be considered suitable modified employment, the following conditions must
- The employee must meet the required qualifications for the Modified/Transition Duty
Assignment which the employee will be required to perform;
- The work must conform to the medical restrictions set by the Authorized Treating Physician;
- The Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment and/or modified work schedule cannot exceed
90 calendar days unless approved by written recommendation.
- The Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment ends when any of the following occur:
- The Authorized Treating Physician releases the employee to return to full duty.
- Circumstances require that the Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment be discontinued.
- 90 calendar days have elapsed.
- An employee must immediately notify his or her supervisor of any work-related injury.
- The supervisor will complete, sign, and submit the First Report of Injury form along
with any additional applicable forms to Human Resources.
- Human Resources will submit the claim to the Claims Management Service with any available
- Human Resources will consult with the injured employee, supervisor, department administrator,
division administrator (if applicable) and the Authorized Treating Physician to determine
if a proposed Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment is suitable.
- If a suitable Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment is identified, Human Resources
will contact the employee to discuss the assignment, length of assignment, restrictions
and expectations regarding the assignment, medical evaluations, and other pertinent
- Human Resources will communicate with the employee on a regular basis for updates
and to support the employee through the transitional process.
- All medical appointments and injury/work status reports for the injured employee will
be tracked, to the extent possible, by Human Resources and communicated by Human Resources,
to the employee’s supervisor regarding any updates or changes.
- Human Resources will review the Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment every 30 calendar
days to determine if the employee is still in transition based on the Authorized Treating
- If a supervisor encounters issues during the Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment,
the supervisor shall report such issues to Human Resources. Human Resources will determine
necessary changes or if continuation of the assignment is appropriate.
- Upon completion of the Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment, Human Resources will
coordinate the return to normal full duty assignment in the employing department and
the return to work file will be closed.
Developing a Return-
- When determining if a proposed Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment is suitable,
Human Resources will consult with the injured employee, the department, and the Authorized
Treating Physician. Other individuals may participate in the discussion as needed
(e.g. safety coordinator).
- The employer will consider physical requirements, job descriptions, job analysis questionnaires,
and medical opinions of the Authorized Treating Physician to determine if transitional
duties are available.
- Every effort will be made to place the employee in his/her employing work unit; however,
if this is not possible, Human Resources may recommend an alternative work assignment
as long as the conditions for return to work outlined above have been met.
APSU Policy 5:022– Issued: March 25, 2017
President: signature on file