Early Return to Work Restrictions

WC Toolkit

  • Employee is released for work, no restrictions, go to Item A.
  • Employee is released for work, with restrictions, go to Item B.
  • Employee is not released for work, or physician refuses to provide information on medical restrictions, go to Item E.

A. Employee Released For Work, No Restrictions

  1. Employee returns to regular work.
  2. Supervisor checks back with employee throughout the shift.

B. Employee Released for Work with Restrictions

  1. Review Physician Certification report as soon as received. Use medical restrictions listed; attempt to modify current job according to restrictions.
    1. If current job cannot be changed, look for tasks within work unit, then section, department or campus.
    2. Worker’s Compensation coordinator, in coordination with UWSA, should call or write doctor if you have questions about employee’s limits or abilities to perform assigned tasks.
    3. Worker’s Compensation coordinator, in coordination with UWSA, should send written job/task description to doctor for approval if there is a question by the employee, supervisor or doctor.
  2. Modified duty exists which is within employee’s limits as prescribed by doctor:
    1. Employee shall be directed to begin modified duty immediately upon release from doctor.
    2. When employee reports to work, review and complete Return to Work Agreement (RTWA) which outlines doctor’s medical restrictions.
    3. Send copies of all documentation to Worker’s Compensation coordinator.

What’s Next?

  • Modified duty does not exist, go to Item E.
  • Employee returns to modified work, go to Item C.
  • Employee refuses or fails to report for work, go to Item D.

C. Employee Returns to Modified Work

  1. Return to Work Agreement (RTWA) is reviewed with employee when he/she reports for work. Employee signs the RTWA and is given a copy. Retain copy for file.
  2. Obtain new Physician Certification report after each visit to the doctor.
  3. As limits are removed by doctor adjust job tasks; update RTWA. Modified duty should be reviewed every two weeks.
  4. Employee stays on modified work until released for regular work or pre- set time frame has lapsed (usually no more than 90 days), as established by the treating physician.
  5. Communication and coordination between the Worker’s Compensation coordinator, supervisor and the personnel manager will be necessary to complete this process.

What’s Next?

  • Pre-set time frame lapses and employee is not released for regular work, restrictions are permanent, go to Item F.

D. Employee Refuses or Fails to Report for Work

  1. Call appropriate designee right away and provide all documentation.
  2. If employee has been offered modified duty within the medical restrictions of the doctor and declines to accept such duty, then the 230.36 or Worker’s Compensation benefits will no longer be provided since the employee has been offered medically suitable employment and the employee is able to work.
  3. If employee continues to refuse or fails to report for modified work assignment, then the supervisor may begin discipline for failing to follow campus work rules.

Document: Employee was informed of “Injured Worker Responsibility.”

Employee has been sent job offer which meets the medical. Worker’s Compensation coordinator will contact University of Wisconsin System Administration Claim Examiner for specifics on documentation and procedures to stop benefits.

E. Employee Not Released for Work, or Modified Work Not Available, or Physician Refuses to Provide Information on Medical Restrictions

  1. Employee must maintain regular contact with the appropriate designee (may be supervisor, personnel director, etc.) This should be done at least weekly. Contact may be phone or in person.
  2. Supervisor (if not the designee) should contact designee right away. He/she can help get information from the doctor(s).
  3. Employee should provide status reports from doctor. This should be at least monthly, or until limits declared permanent.
  4. If supervisor or designee deems it appropriate or warranted, an Independent Medical Examination (IME) can be requested from the University of Wisconsin System Administration by the Worker’s Compensation coordinator for the Campus.

What’s Next?

  • Employee fails to maintain contact or provide reports, supervisor must contact employee at least weekly (also, re-emphasize employee responsibilities).
  • Limits change and/or modified work becomes available, go to Item B.
  • Employee is released for regular work, go to Item A.
  • Employee is declared to have permanent restrictions, go to Item F.

F. Employee Has Permanent Restrictions

  1. Upon release by his or her doctor, employee must notify the employer within five (5) days that he or she is available to return to work with permanent restriction.
  2. If suitable employment is available, employee is offered work in permanent position. Offer made in writing, sent by certified mail.
  3. If suitable employment is not available, employee is placed on injured worker re- employment list. Supervisor and employee maintain contact.
    1. Employee must notify employer of change in mailing address within 10 days.
    2. Supervisor should review worksite modification options with campus and appropriate department.
    3. If the present work site has no suitable work, the personnel manager or designee would then contact the worker’s compensation claim examiner for a review and consideration of other positions available within the department or campus. Positions in other state agencies may be accessed by working with DVR.

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