It is in the agency’s best interest to return the employee back to work as soon as possible. The supervisor and the agency should work together to look for light duty assignments for the injured employee. They should also keep in mind that any benefits an injured employee receives from the Department of Labor (DOL) will be charged back (the agency has to reimburse DOL) to the agency. Therefore, it is imperative to get the injured employee back to work in some capacity since we are required to pay them either way. The supervisor should ask themselves the following questions when they are trying to return the employee back to work:
- Does the employee have restrictions?
- Can the injured employee return to their current position with restrictions?
- Can the employee work in another area until they are released to work with no restrictions?
- Is the institute able to create an assignment for the injured employee to do, until they can work with no restrictions?
It is important that the supervisor works with the Workers’ Compensation Program to provide light duty assignments for injured employees. The supervisor is most familiar with the work and what the institute has to offer, therefore they play an intricate role in assigning light duty assignments. The supervisor should notify OMS when they are able to accommodate the injured employee’s restrictions, so that a blue slip can be generated.