Return-To-Work

Return-To-Work

April 1, 2013

Purpose

The Return-To-Work (RTW) Program supports the mission of the University by maximizing human and financial resources and complying with applicable Federal, State and UC disability regulations. The RTW Program achieves this by providing uniformity, and by coordinating the program to help UCLA staff and faculty who have injuries or illnesses, stay at work or return to work as soon as possible.

Goals

  • Demonstrate University concern and commitment for disabled employees and facilitate the job accommodation process.
  • To minimize the employee’s transition period from leave, to partial disability to full duty.
  • Maintain high workplace productivity.
  • Prevent deterioration of employee work skills, conditioning, and attitudes that could result in extending periods of disability and decreasing morale.
  • Comply with applicable State, Federal and UC regulations regarding temporary and permanent work restrictions and return-to-work.
  • Reduce the disability costs of Workers’ Compensation (WC) claims. 

Definitions

TRTW Job Assignment - A TEMPORARY work assignment which complies with all medical restrictions indicated by the employee's medical provider. Employees must provide written documentation from their medical provider indicating their specific work restrictions. A TRTW Job Assignment may involve:

  • Modification of the injured employee’s job duties, i.e., tailoring work duties to the injured employee’s medical limitations and vocational abilities to maximize recovery, or
  • Alternate work that is compatible with the employee's job skills and experience, and is in compliance with the employee's medical restrictions.
  • The TRTW Job Assignment is documented by a Transitional Return-To-Work Agreement. The TRTW Agreement is signed by the employee and Department Supervisor or Representative.

Occupational Injury or Illness - Any injury or illness arising out of, in the course of, or during the course of employment with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and compensable under the WC laws of the State of California.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) - A disability resulting from an industrial injury or illness which prevents an employee from performing one or more of his/her regular job duties, but does not prevent the employee from performing work that is dependent on capabilities not affected by the disability.

Permanent & Stationary (P&S / Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI))  - A medical statement from the injured employee's medical provider stating that the employee's condition is now stable and will not get appreciably better or worse. At this point, the disabled employee is released to return to work with or without work restrictions, or is medically determined to be precluded from engaging in his/her usual and customary occupation or the position in which s/he was engaged in at the time of injury.

Extended Sick Leave (ESL)  - A University benefit that supplements an employee's WC disability benefits up to 80% of normal earnings, for up to 26 weeks. ESL begins after an eligible injured employee has exhausted all sick leave credits. The difference between 80% of the employee’s normal earnings and the temporary disability rate is paid by the department.  This benefit applies to any one injury or illness.

Implementation of TRTW Job Assignment

  • TRTW program is implemented Campus-wide for all staff and faculty with a disability or medical condition resulting in functional limitations.
  • Under the TRTW Program, the Campus does not intend to create permanent jobs from a temporary modification or assignment. Thus, the TRTW program will be for a period of not more than 90 calendar days.

Return-To-Work Coordinator (RTWC)

1. Facilitates contact with staff and faculty and/or Supervisors to discuss the Campus RTW Program. Provides information about the interactive discussion meeting for the reasonable accommodation.

2. Receives information indicating current employee medical restrictions. Assures departments are advised of and understand restrictions and their effect on RTW Job Assignment.

3. Monitors ongoing RTW Job Assignment for continuing appropriateness.