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Return to Work Policy

Policy Provisions

The return to work policy for New River Community College will be implemented according to Executive Order #52 and Executive Order #94 (05). While New River Community College management will work with all employees to reduce on-the-job risks, the Return to Work Policy will pertain to employees with compensable work-related injuries as well as non-occupational injuries and/or illnesses. The policy will provide the flexibility to take into account an employee’s special circumstances, using modified assignments when appropriate.

In accordance with the policy, the Human Resources Office (HRO) will work with the Worker’s Compensation Program in implementing initiatives to reduce work-related injuries and to improve services to employees. The Human Resources Manager is designated as the Return to Work Coordinator. She will have the responsibility for implementing, administering, and educating all employees on the Return to Work Policy. She may delegate certain responsibilities to the Payroll Technicians.

The policy will be reviewed annually and revisions made as necessary.


Work Related Injuries

Reporting an Injury
When an employee is injured on the job, the HRO is notified and a member of this staff will complete the Employer’s Accident Report (EAR). The injured employee will be given the names of a panel of physicians, as determined by HRO, from whom he or she can choose to receive medical care. The HRO will fax or mail the Employer’s Accident Report to the Workers Compensation Program within the required time frame.

Medical Treatment
After the injured employee has met with the panel physician for the first time, the Return to Work Coordinator will maintain contact with the physician’s office in order to obtain the injured employee’s prognosis for recovery and return-to-work status. The injured employee should bring his or her disability slip or work restrictions to the Return to Work Coordinator or to his or her supervisor who will in turn provide it to the Return to Work Coordinator. If the Coordinator is not clear on any matters concerning the injured employee, he or she will call the physician. If the work restrictions cannot be accommodated through modified duty, the Return to Work Coordinator will maintain communication with the panel physician and the injured employee.


Work-related and Non-occupational Related Accommodations

Modified/Transitional Duty
Modified/transitional duty is when the injured employee’s regular job duties have to be adjusted to accommodate the restrictions required by the injury and/or illness. Before the employee starts his or her modified duty, the supervisor, injured employee, and Return to Work Coordinator will discuss the required restrictions. Modified/transitional duty will be approved only when it is possible to adjust or identify work tasks and duties that accommodating the restrictions of the injured employee until he/she can return to his/her normal duties. Modified/transitional duty may be restricted up to a maximum of 90 days.

Normally, modified/transitional duty will be restricted to a productive work assignment in the injured employee’s department. If modified duty is not possible within the injured employee’s department, the Return to Work Coordinator will try to find a productive work assignment which would accommodate the injured employee’s restrictions in another department or departments.

The Return to Work Coordinator will communicate with Managed Care Innovations for work-related accommodations and the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) for non-occupational return-to-work accommodations.

It is the responsibility of the Return to Work Coordinator to monitor the modified/transitional duty assignment and to evaluate the progress. This duty can be altered, upgraded, or changed in a manner consistent with medical restrictions and in accordance with an individual’s condition.

Return to Work
If the employee is not able to return to work because of the severity of the injury, the Return to Work Coordinator will maintain continuous communication with the injured employee. The Return to Work Coordinator will also communicate with the panel physician and provide him or her with the necessary information to assist in returning the employee back to work. The supervisor will maintain communication with the Return to Work Coordinator and the injured employee. If the panel physician determines that the employee has permanent restrictions or has reached maximum medical improvement, the HRO will apply the appropriate state personnel policies and procedures.

New River Community College will attempt to make returning the injured employee to work as smooth a process as possible. The agency’s goal is to get the injured employee back to full-time work at full duty as soon as possible and in a safe and healthy manner.

Approved by: Jack M. Lewis, President
Date: February 8, 2006