Back to Work Programs Presented by: Dan Neubert Topics o Reasonable Accommodation o Transitional Work o Remain at Work Program o Vocational Rehabilitation o Job Retention The Americans with Disabilies Act o The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodation for persons with a disability. What is a reasonable accommodation and what does it have to do with a work related injury? Reasonable Accommodations include: o o o o o Making existing facilities accessible Job restructuring Part-time or modified work schedules Acquiring or modifying equipment Reassignment to a vacant position Reassignment to a Vacant Position per EEOC “This type of reasonable accommodation must be provided to an employee who, because of a disability, can no longer perform the essential functions of his/her current position, with or without reasonable accommodation, unless the employer can show that it would be an undue hardship.” Reassignment to a Vacant Position per EEOC “An employee must be “qualified” for the new position. An employee is “qualified” for a position if s/he satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education and other job-related requirements of the position and can perform the essential functions of the new position with or without reasonable accommodation.” Reassignment to a Vacant Position per EEOC “The employee does not need to be the best qualified individual for the position in order to obtain it as a reassignment.” EEOC vs. Sears Roebuck & Co. The EEOC’s suit alleged that Sears maintained an inflexible workers’ compensation policy and terminated employees instead of providing them with reasonable accommodations for their disabilities. Injured Worker o o o o o John Bava Service Technician Injured on the Job Permanent Restrictions Repeatedly attempted to return to work Employer o o o o Sears Roebuck & Co. Failed to provide Bava with a reasonable accommodation. Terminated his employment after his workers’ compensation leave expired. Hundreds of other employees were terminated without Sears considering reasonable accommodation to return them to work while they were on leave. Federal Court Decree of 9/29/09 Sears pays $6.2 Million for Disability Bias Sears has agreed to the following consent decree: o o o o Amend its workers’ compensation leave policy Provide written reports to the EEOC detailing its workers’ compensation practices’ compliance with the ADA Train its employees regarding the ADA Post a notice of the decree at all Sears locations Transitional Work o o o o o For injured workers with job restrictions resulting from the allowed injury Assists the injured worker in progressively performing the duties of a job Developed in conjunction with the employer, injured worker and physician of record Length of program usually 12 weeks or less Program is temporary and transitional What happens if the injured worker is not able to perform the duties of their job? Programs available through BWC o o o Remain at Work Vocational Rehabilitation Job Retention Remain at Work o o o Injured worker with a Medical Only claim Difficulty at work related to the allowed condition Services provided to stay on the job Remain at Work Services may include: o o o o o Transitional work Gradual return to work On the Job Training Job Modification Tools and equipment Vocational Rehabilitation Injured worker not working due to injury related restrictions. Job Retention Injured worker is working but having difficulty due to injury related restrictions. Role of Vocational Rehabilitation o o o o Individualized and Voluntary program for eligible injured workers with a Lost Time Claim. Provides assistance in safely returning to work or in retaining employment. Emphasizes restoring or maximizing the injured workers’ abilities. Minimizing long debilitating absences from work. Return to Work Hierarchy 1. 2. 3. 4. Same Job, Same Employer Different Job, Same Employer Same Job, Different Employer Different job, Different Employer Return to Work Incentive Services May Include: o o o o o Employer Incentive Contract Gradual Return to Work Job Modifications On-the-Job Training Work Trial Vocational Rehabilitation Services (over 40 services available) may include: o o o o o o o Tools and equipment Training Therapy (PT & OT) Job Seeking Skills Training Relocation Expenses Job Placement Transitional Work Employer Benefits of early Return to Work: o o o o o Safely return injured workers to productive jobs Prevent Medical Only claims from becoming Lost Time Claims Minimize costs of claims Vocational Rehabilitation costs are charged to the Surplus Fund Reduce reserves on claims and ultimately reduce premiums Questions? Please feel free to call Dan Neubert at 216-426-0646 to discuss.