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Office of Human Resources

Return To Work (RTW) Program

Q & A

Why a Return to Work (RTW) Program?
The Return to Work Program is designed to help an employee reach full recovery following illness or injury while he or she continues in worthwhile and meaningful work. Injured or ill employees recover more quickly if they are able to maintain as close to normal routine as possible. While working in the temporary transitional work assignment, you will be paid by the University of Rochester at your pre-injury rate to help minimize any financial disruption you may experience at this time. It is the goal of the RTW Program to return you to your regular duty within 90 days or as soon as your medical condition permits.

When can I use the RTW Program?
If you are on short-term disability, workers' compensation or long-term disability, the RTW program will work closely with you to assist with an early, safe return to work.

If you have been on long-term disability for greater than two (2) years, your physician will need to provide your current work capabilities to the Leave Administration Group by fax at 585-235-6703. It will be necessary for you to look at the current job postings/openings online at www.rochester.edu/jobopp or to visit the Employment Center located at 910 Genesee Street, Rochester, NY 14627 to apply for positions within your current physical capabilities.

What is the Work Accommodation Form (WAF) and where do I find it?
The Work Accommodation Form (WAF) is a document to be completed by your treating physician which will provide specific information on your current physical work capabilities, such as lifting, pushing, pulling, bending and hours limitations, as well as document whether your restrictions are temporary or permanent. The WAF can be found online at www.rochester.edu/working/hr/leave/rtw/waf.pdf

When should my physician complete the WAF?
Your treating physician should complete the WAF at each appointment. This updated information will be used by the RTW staff to determine if your current work capabilities match available temporary transitional work assignments.

My physician has released me to return to work with or without restrictions. Who should receive the WAF / return to work note?
Your physician should fax the WAF / return to work note to the Leave Administration Group at 585-235-6703. The RTW staff will provide written documentation to your supervisor regarding your current restrictions.

Will my medical condition be kept confidential?
Yes, only restrictions will be discussed with your supervisor.

What if my current department is unable to accommodate my restrictions?
The RTW staff will work with your department to determine the availability of a temporary modified transitional assignment. If no assignment is available within your current department, there may be opportunities available to place you outside your department but within your current physical work capabilities.

What if I am unable to return to my regular duties at the end of my 90 day temporary modified transitional assignment?
Your 90 day temporary modified transitional assignment may possibly be extended for a short period of time, based on a case by case basis. If no extension is granted, you will be required to go out of work on the appropriate leave (short-term disability, workers' compensation, or long-term disability) for the duration of your healing process.

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