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Do you have a Return To Work Program

By January 6, 2023April 18th, 2024No Comments

There are a number of federal and state laws that regulate return to work programs and the accommodations that may be provided to employees returning to work after a leave of absence.

At the federal level, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are two key laws that may impact return to work programs.

The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities unless doing so would cause undue hardship to the employer. This may include accommodations such as modified work schedules or modified duties.

The FMLA requires employers to provide certain employees with unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons and to restore those employees to their same or equivalent position upon their return to work.

There may also be state laws that regulate return to work programs, such as state-specific disability laws or family and medical leave laws. It is important to familiarize yourself with the laws that apply to your business and to consult with legal counsel to ensure compliance.

There are several steps you can take to develop a return to work program:

  1. Identify the need: Determine why you are creating a return to work program and what you hope to achieve.
  2. Involve all stakeholders: Engage employees, management, and HR in the development process to ensure buy-in and support for the program.
  3. Define the program: Outline the goals and objectives of the program, including what types of accommodations, may be available to employees returning to work.
  4. Create a plan: Develop a step-by-step plan for how the program will be implemented, including how to communicate the program to employees and how to handle requests for accommodations.
  5. Implement the program: Put the plan into action, including training employees and managers on the program and how to handle requests for accommodations.
  6. Evaluate the program: Regularly review the program to ensure it is meeting its goals and make any necessary adjustments.

It may also be helpful to consult with legal counsel and employee relations professionals to ensure that your return to work program is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.

Most companies do not realize their options when it comes to bringing back an employee to a light-duty role, and therefore let them set at home. This is very expensive and can cost a company thousands of dollars for years to come!

Why is that?

There are several reasons why an employer might want to offer a light-duty return to work option:

  1. To retain valuable employees: Offering a light-duty option can help an employer retain valuable employees who may otherwise be unable to return to their regular job duties due to a temporary disability or injury.
  2. To reduce costs: Providing a light-duty option can help reduce the costs associated with hiring and training replacement employees, as well as the costs of paying unemployment insurance and other benefits to employees who are unable to work.
  3. To improve productivity: Allowing employees to return to work in a modified capacity can help them stay engaged and connected to the workplace, which can lead to improved productivity.
  4. To reduce the risk of further injury: Providing a light-duty option can help reduce the risk of further injury to employees who are returning to work after a leave of absence due to a disability or injury. This can help prevent costly worker’s compensation claims and improve overall workplace safety.
  5. Reduce Workers Compensation Cost: When an employee stays home for an injury your workers comp insurance is paying the bill. This is often one of the largest factors that increases your experience mod and workers compensation cost.

Stop wasting money and let us help you by putting a return to work program in place with light-duty roles, we can help you reduce your experience mod factor and therefore reduce your workers comp insurance cost.