Human Resources

Staff Policies

X. Safety and Health

G. Early return to work program

A major part of the cost of an occupational accident is related to the time lost from productive work by the injured employee. An early return to work program has been established in order to reduce the financial and psychological impact of a severe injury on both the employee and the college.  This program will be administered by the Director of Human Resources.

The program is designed to return an injured employee to work to a restricted work assignment compatible with the worker's physical capability.  The program procedures are as follows:

Fill out appropriate forms

An injured employee and the employee's supervisor shall follow procedures for filling out all related forms ("Supervisor's Accident Report" form and Form 801- "Report of Occupational Injury and Disease"), as described in the procedure titled "Accident Reporting and Investigation", within 48 hours following the accident. In the event that an employee is hospitalized as an in-patient as the result of an occupational injury or accident, the supervisor should inform Reed College's Worker's Compensation insurance carrier by telephone as soon as possible, in addition to completing the appropriate claim forms.

Make early contact with the injured

When an employee has an on-the-job injury that involves time lost from work, the employee's supervisor shall notify the Human Resources Office which shall contact the employee within three working days of the accident.  The purpose of this contact is to assess the injured worker's needs, attitude, and the extent of injury, and to acquire the name and address of the attending physician.

Determine the injured worker's capability.

If it appears the injured worker will be off work for more than five days, the Human Resources Office shall contact the attending physician to get a determination of the employee's physical restrictions and projected recuperation time. At this time, the physician should be supplied with a job analysis describing the specific task requirements of the modified work assignment that will be offered to the worker.  Each supervisor should maintain a file of such assignments to be readily available when needed.

Arrange a restricted work assignment.

If the physician's report suggests that the injured worker may have an extended period of recuperation and may be able safely and comfortably to perform some tasks, the physician may release the worker to perform the duties described on the job analysis. If the physician does not release the worker to perform these tasks, the supervisor should proceed to arrange a restricted work assignment which meets the criteria described by the physician.

If the worker's current job cannot be modified to accommodate the employee's restrictions, the Human Resources Office shall attempt to arrange appropriate duties in another work area within the college. The Office will notify all managers and supervisors of the employee's abilities through email and ask supervisors to contact Human Resources if they have work available that might be suitable.

Ask the injured worker to return to work for a limited period.

The employee will be offered the temporary, modified work. The Human Resources Office may offer the modified position to the employee over the telephone, but shall also follow up with a job offer by certified mail. The employee may start working before receiving the written offer. The restricted work assignment should be for the period of physical recuperation, with the understanding that the employee will return to a full-time work assignment when the attending physician believes it is feasible.

The offer shall include location of job, date and time to report to work, name and phone number of supervisor, number of days or weeks that work will be available (usually no more than 90 days), and wage rate. The employee will be paid at his/her regular rate of pay.

When a written offer of modified work is extended to the worker, temporary disability benefits cease, according to state law. If the employee refuses the modified work, he/she may also lose his/her right to be reinstated into the formerly held job, following recovery.

Review and complete "Return to Work Agreement" with employee.

When the employee reports to work, the supervisor will review and complete the "Return to Work Agreement" with the employee. This agreement outlines the doctor's medical limits.  A copy of this document is available in Human Resources, and when completed, must be sent to the Human Resources Office.

The Human Resources Office will forward copies of all completed forms and letters to the Workers' Compensation insurance carrier.

last revised: 2/24/2012

last reviewed: 2/24/2012

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