Policy 3-21 LIGHT (LIMITED) DUTY FOLLOWING AN ON THE JOB INJURY

DISTRIBUTION:    All Departments

DATE:        May 2, 2005

SUBJECT:        Light (Limited) Duty following an On the Job Injury

PURPOSE:    To establish procedures for an effective light duty program to address return to work from an on the job injury and to provide for a means to allow an employee to return to work prior to a full medical release thus allowing an employee to return to productive employment as soon as he or she is physically able.

BACKGROUND:    It is necessary to standardize the various programs used by the many departments within the City.  In order to provide a uniform and fair application of a program for light (limited) duty among the various departments the following policy is hereby adopted and made applicable to all departments of the City except those employees in the Police and Fire Departments that are members of a collective bargaining unit and are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

PROCEDURES:    LIGHT (Limited) DUTY POLICY.

1.    All employees injured while in the scope and performance of their duties with the city shall strive to return to work for the city as soon as possible with the treating physician’s concurrence.  The employee shall request that the physician return them to light duty as soon as possible.  The employee shall, if the physician indicates that the employee is not capable of returning to his/her normal duties, request that the physician evaluate the employee for a light duty assignment such as but not limited to clerical duties including answering the telephone, filing or similar duties.

2.    Upon being released by a physician to return to work on a light duty basis, the injured employee will immediately report to The Human Resources Department with a form furnished by the City and completed by his physician indicating any restrictions.

3.    The Human Resources Director or his designated representative will interview the employee to review his/her physical restrictions and to determine his/her education, training, experience and skills.  This information will be used in determining light duty assignments for which the employee is qualified and physically capable of performing.

4.    The Human Resources Director or his representative will contact the department director to determine if the injured employee can be utilized in any division within the department.  In all cases, the department to which the injured employee is permanently assigned will have priority in utilizing the employee while the employee is in light duty status.

5.    If the department has no appropriate tasks available for the injured employee, the Human Resources Director or his designated representative will survey other departments to determine if they can use the injured employee on a light duty basis.

6.    If there are no meaningful tasks available that the injured employee is capable of performing, the injured employee will be sent home subject to being called back should appropriate light duty become available.  A light duty assignment is not guaranteed to an injured employee and in no event will a position be created for the sole purpose of utilizing the injured employee in a light duty status nor shall a modification of job duties be made which allows the employee to perform in a light duty capacity.   

7.    Wage and benefit cost of the injured employee will continue to be paid by the division to which the injured employee is permanently assigned.

8.    An employee who is assigned to light duty SHALL NOT be assigned to any duties, even temporarily, that would require the employee to perform duties that are not within the restrictions placed by the physician or that could be considered the normal duties of the employee.

9.    An employee who is assigned to light duty will be   required to periodically furnish a written statement, from his or her treating physician or the physician designated by the City that he or she is incapable of performing his or her normal duties.

10.    In no event will an employee be allowed to perform more than 520 hours of light duty except as provided below.  On completion of 440 hours of light duty the employee will be required to furnish a written statement from his/her physician that indicates a “DATE CERTAIN” that the employee will be able to return to his/her normal duties. The period of light duty shall not be extended unless the “date certain” provided by the employees physician does not exceed an additional 80 hours of light duty, this period cannot be further extended.

11.    If the “date certain” is past the maximum number of hours allowed for light duty (520) plus any allowed extension the employee will be required to return to a Temporary Total Disability status under the City’s Worker’s Compensation program.  When able to return to work the employee is not assured of placement in the employee’s former position.  

12.    A light duty position shall not be available for any injury or illness not incurred in the course and scope of employment i.e. an injury or illness which is determined not to be covered by the City’s workers compensation program.

REFERENCES:     Administrative Policy 2-1

EFFECTIVE DATE/    This policy becomes effective on May 2, 2005 and shall remain in effect until rescinded.
    
RESPONSIBLE
DEPARTMENT:    Human Resources



                
LARRY MITCHELL
City Manager
May 2, 2005


(3-21, Added, 05/02/2005)