File GBGE: Return to Work and Light-Duty Assignments

M.S.A.D. No.75 believes that it is in the best interest of both the school system and employees who have suffered workplaces injuries or illnesses to return to the work environment as soon as possible. Further, the Board recognizes the need for a program to effectively manage Workers’ Compensation costs throughout the system, while conserving its most valuable resources – the skills, knowledge and experiences of its employees. To that end, the Board supports the establishment of a comprehensive return-to-work program, including transitional or “light-duty” work assignments, whenever appropriate, to minimize lost time and facilitate an employee’s transition back to regular or full-time work.

Transitional or light-duty assignments, including modified work schedules, will be designed to accommodate job restrictions specified by the employee’s health care provider. Transitional or light-duty assignments are intended to address short-term medical restrictions, and are not to be used as a means to establish new assignments or displace other employees.

Return-to-work Program
Employees must immediately notify their supervisor or school nurse of any work-related injury. An ‘Accident/Injury Report’ must be forwarded to the Human Resources Department within 24 hours of the accident or injury. If the accident or injury is not an emergency, medical treatment will be provided by Occupational Health or the employee’s own physician if preferred. Visits to Occupational Health can be coordinated through Human Resources. If an employee is not able to return to his/her regular work duties and/or schedule, a transitional work assignment may be considered.

To be considered for a transitional work assignment, a ‘Physical Demands’ form will be sent to the attending medical provider, requesting details on the physical restrictions of the injured employee. Human Resources and the employee’s supervisor will review the restrictions and determine whether there are light-duty assignments available in the employee’s current department. If not, Human Resources will coordinate with other administrators to identify any other appropriate assignments.

If an appropriate assignment is identified, Human Resources, the employee’s supervisor and the employee will meet to discuss the new work assignment and complete the ‘Employee Acknowledgement of Offer of Transitional Work’ form.

During the transitional assignment, Human Resources will meet with the injured employee to discuss concerns and evaluate progress every two weeks. Human Resources, in coordination with the employee’s supervisor and the medical provider, may amend the transitional assignment should the employee demonstrate improvement or regression. The duration of the transitional assignment is contingent upon periodic medical evaluations.

FIRST READING: April 13, 2006
SECOND READING: April 27, 2006
ADOPTION: April 27, 2006

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