OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY RETURN TO WORK PROCEDURES
The practices promulgated in this procedure are issued in compliance with Old Dominion
University's Return to Work Policy. The procedures provided herein apply to teaching
and research faculty, administrative and professional faculty, adjunct faculty, classified
employees, and hourly/wage employees of Old Dominion University at all university
locations. This procedure shall be applied in situations when a full-time faculty or
classified employee or part-time classified employee is restricted in the performance of
their regular duties due to personal injury, illness or medical condition, or due to a workrelated
accident/injury. This procedure may be applied in situations when an adjunct
faculty or hourly/wage employee is restricted in the performance of their regular duties
due to personal injury, illness or medical condition, or due to a work-related
accident/injury. Requests by an adjunct faculty of hourly/wage employee will be
reviewed by the supervisor in consultation with the Department of Human Resources and
the Office of Equal Opportunity on a case-by-case basis. Old Dominion University
provides for the use of Return to Work Duty Assignments (RTWDA) and shall, to the
extent possible, assist employees by temporarily modifying work assignments, duties or
arranging for a temporary transfer until the employee is medically released to resume
A. The Vice President for Human Resources for policy and procedure oversight.
B. The Benefits Administrator and Employee Relations Manager for technical guidance,
administration, communications and training and the assignment and supervision of
Absence Programs Coordinator..
C. Vice Presidents, Deans, Chairs, Directors, and Supervisors for policy and procedure
execution and Return to Work Duty Assignment compliance.
D. The Directors of Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety for
coordination with university policies and procedures concerning Work Place Safety
E. The Absence Programs Coordinator for routine technical guidance and assistant to supervisors and employees, communication and training
coordination, RTWDA employee file and documentation maintenance, and liaison
and communications with Virginia Sickness and Disability Program VSDP
Administrators and the State's Workers' Compensation Administrator, as applicable.
F. The Return to Work Committee, to periodically evaluate the Return to Work Program
and to provide applicable recommendations and guidance to the Vice President for Human
Resources, executive management and supervisors. Members of this committee shall
be the Benefits Administrator, Employee Relations Manager, the Absence Programs
Coordinator and a representative from the Risk Management/Environmental Safety
A. Full Duty - Regular work tasks as defined in the employee's job description or work
B. Light or Modified Duty - A temporary situation when an employee returns from a
personal or work-related injury or illness to medically restricted or modified duties in
their home department. Duties assigned can be those identified in the employee's
current job description or work profile with restrictions or another assignment within
the employee's home department.
C. Alternate Duty - A temporary situation where the non-availability of light or
modified duty preclude the employee's return to duty in the employee's home
department in either a light or modified duty assignment, and a temporary assignment
to an alternate position is offered in another host department.
D. Return to Work Duty Assignment - a temporary assignment to a light, modified or
alternate duty assignment.
E. Home Department - The department to which the employee is assigned during his or
her normal employment.
F. Host Department - The department which provides alternate duty to an injured or ill
G. Work-related injury or illness - An injury or illness certified as compensable by the
Workers' Compensation Program.
H. Personal injury, illness or medical condition - An injury, illness or medical condition
not compensable under Workers' Compensation.
A. Employees with a work-related accident/injury or illness shall notify their supervisor
and Absence Programs Coordinator immediately following a work-related
accident/injury, and comply with all applicable Virginia Sickness and Disability
Program (VSDP) & Workers' Compensation policies and procedures.
B. Supervisors shall notify the Absence Programs Coordinator immediately when an
employee is expected to be absent for any period of time for a work-related injury or
illness. Supervisors shall notify Human Resources as soon as possible when an
employee is expected to be absent for more than five consecutive workdays for a
personal injury, illness or other medical reason. Supervisors and employees shall
comply with applicable VSDP, Department of Human Resource Management leave
policies, and Workers' Compensation policies and procedures.
C. Employees returning to full duty following any absence resulting from a work-related
accident/injury or from a personal injury or illness excused by an authorized medical
provider, must provide their supervisor with documentation from the authorized
medical provider which excuses (no duty) the just concluded absence and
recommends return to full duty, if applicable. If the authorized medical provider
recommends light or modified duty, this documentation must be provided to the
employee's supervisor. Employees may not return to work following an absence
excused by an authorized medical provider, without documentation from the
authorized medical provider which approves/authorizes return to work in a full, light
or modified duty status.
D. Supervisors and the employee, in conjunction with the Department of Human
Resources Absence Programs Coordinator shall, within five (5) business days, review
the authorized medical provider's light or modified duty
recommendations/restrictions. Whenever possible the employee shall be assigned to
a RTWDA. If disagreement arises between the supervisor and the employee
concerning the capabilities of the employee or the appropriateness of the RTWDA,
the matter shall, within five (5) business days, be referred to upper management
within the supervisor's/employee's department and the Department of Human
Resources Absence Programs Coordinator.
E. The employee's supervisor, in conjunction with the Department of Human Resources
Absence Programs Coordinator, using the light/modified duty restrictions provided by
the authorized medical provider, shall complete a RTW Position Requirements
Worksheet for any assigned RTWDA (light, modified or alternate duty). This
worksheet shall be reviewed by the supervisor and employee together, signed by the
supervisor and by the employee and forwarded to the Department of Human
Resources RTW Coordinator. A copy of the physician's or VSDP Third Party
Administrator (TPA) document that establishes the duty restrictions shall be attached
to the RTW Position Requirements Worksheet. In instances requiring clarification of
restrictions or applicability of the RTWDA, a copy of the RTW Position
Requirements Worksheet and the Employee's Work Profile will be provided to the
treating physician for review.
F. RTWDAs shall be temporary (except where there may be implications concerning the
Americans with Disabilities Act - ADA) and made available to those employees who
are expected to return to full duty in their previously held position in the home
department. Long-term restrictions shall be evaluated for applicability to the ADA.
RTWDAs may be made for 30 calendar days and may not normally exceed 120 days.
At the conclusion of 30 days, the supervisor in consultation with department
management, and the Department of Human Resources may terminate the RTWDA
assignment thus placing the employee on Leave With or Without Pay, VSDP shortterm
disability, VSDP long-term disability or personal/workers' compensation leave,
as appropriate. On a case-by-case basis, at the supervisor's discretion, in consultation
with the Return to Work Committee, employees unable to return to full duty may
- be continued in the RTWDA assignment for 30 day increments, not
to normally exceed 120 days, with review following each increment;
- be required to explore the option of requesting a leave of absence;
be required to explore the option of filing for a VRS disability
retirement, if eligible;
- be required to explore pursuing other employment opportunities.
G. RTWDAs must meet department/university staffing needs and accommodate the
employee's medical restrictions while taking into consideration the welfare and safety
of the employee and their co-workers.
H. A RTWDA shall not exceed the level of responsibility of the regularly assigned
I. RTWDAs may be altered, upgraded, or changed in a manner consistent with medical
restrictions and in accordance with the employee's condition.
J. Departments shall look at all areas within their scope of responsibility, not just the
returning employee's position, for available light and modified RTWDAs.
K. If a light or modified RTWDA is not available within the home department, the home
department supervisor shall notify the Return to Work Coordinator and seek an
alternate duty assignment in a host department. If a host department alternate duty
assignment is not available the home department supervisor shall notify the Return to
L. Funding of the employee's position shall be the responsibility of the home department
regardless of the location of the RTWDA.
M. The home or host department supervisor, as applicable, shall review the RTWDA
monthly to evaluate the employee's progress toward return to regular duties. The
employee may be requested to provide updated medical information concerning
physical capabilities and prognosis from the authorized medical provider during this
review. The host department supervisor shall keep the home department supervisor
and the Absence Programs Coordinator advised of the employee's status following each four
N. The employee and supervisor shall notify the Absence Programs Coordinator on the
employee's return to regular work from light, modified or alternate duty. The
employee shall provide a written release for full duty from the authorized medical
provider prior to the employee's return to full duty. An employee may not return to
full duty without a release to full duty from the authorized medical provider.
O. Supervisors shall maintain adequate documentation to ensure equal opportunities
have been afforded. Copies of all documentation shall be forwarded to the Absence Programs Coordinator.
Responsibility: Department of Human Resources and all University Departments
Effective Date: August 1, 2001
Revised: April 15, 2005
February 1, 2006
March 15, 2006