Policies & Procedures


Section 1

Human Resources

Sec. 300-17: Transitional Work Program Guidelines

Responsible Office: Human Resources
October 2011

References / Resources

  • UCI Administrative Policies and Procedures

Contact: Disability and Rehabilitation Consultant at (949) 824-9151

A. Background

Effective management of health-related employee absences minimizes workforce disruption, employee productivity, and various costs associated with disabilities. The Transitional Work Program utilizes the campus' financial and human resources in the most effective manner by ensuring that employees who have an illness or injury are returned to their jobs as early as medically feasible.

Early intervention, such as the identification of temporary modified work options, is likely to decrease the employee's time off from work. The Transitional Work Program provides positive reinforcement of the employee's effort toward recovery and return to a productive work life.

B. Responsibilities

  1. The employee is responsible for:
    1. Providing their supervisor with initial and ongoing status of their capability to work, including documentation from their treating physician about physical restrictions, medical restrictions, approximate time off needed, and expected date of their return to work;
    2. Discussing work-related information on the medical status form with direct supervisor;
    3. Obtaining additional information, as necessary, about medical restrictions from the treating or consulting physician;
    4. Consulting with Disability and Rehabilitation Consultant regarding reasonable accommodations; and
    5. In the event of a work incurred injury, accepting a temporary work assignment when a modified/alternate job assignment is found. Temporary disability benefits cease if an offered assignment is turned down without good cause, e.g., not interested in the duties of the assignment.
  2. The employee's supervisor is responsible for:
    1. Defining physical requirements and essential job functions of the employee's position;
    2. Providing temporary light duty within the department upon receipt of the employee's work restrictions or documenting the reasons why a transitional work assignment is not available;
    3. Notifying the Disability and Rehabilitation Consultant immediately of employee medical restrictions, extensions of leave, and return to work status; and
    4. In the event of a work incurred injury, paying for the employee's salary while in a modified/alternate work assignment in another department. This only applies when the home department is not able to provide modified work.
  3. The departmental supervisor of any department to which the employee is reassigned to work, is responsible for:
    1. Ensuring that the work provided is consistent with the specified restrictions; and
    2. Notifying the Disability and Rehabilitation Consultant of the employee's work status and any other pertinent information.
  4. The Disability and Rehabilitation Consultant is responsible for:
    1. Providing reasonable accommodation and return-to-work services to all active UCI campus employees with work and non-work incurred injuries or illness;
    2. Reviewing medical separation requests.
  5. The Director, Benefits and Workers' Compensation & Disability Management Services, is responsible for Program oversight and assessment.

C. Procedures

All supervisory personnel are responsible for ensuring that eligible employees are provided with a Transitional Work plan:

  1. Work consistent with temporary medical restrictions will be assigned within the employee's department for up to 90 calendar days or until the employee is sufficiently recovered to return to their original job, whichever occurs first. At the University's discretion, the 90-day period of time may be extended.

    Note: For full-time employees whose regular work shift exceeds eight hours, 360 work hours is the maximum allowance. Part-time employees are subject to the 90-calendar-day limitation.

  2. In the event of a work incurred injury, when a department cannot provide employment compatible with the temporary work restrictions, an employee may be reassigned to another department for a period of up to 90 calendar days. The salary for the temporary assignment in another department shall be borne by the employee's home department. Extension of the 90-day temporary assignment in another department is at the discretion of the University.

D. Program Considerations

  1. If an employee, exempt or non-exempt, is released to a reduced work schedule, e.g., four hours per day, wages will be paid for the hours worked and the employee may be entitled to additional income.
  2. If an employee has not fully recovered at the end of the maximum period, the supervisor/manager, in consultation with the Disability and Rehabilitation Consultant, will evaluate the employee's capacity for work. Further employment options will be determined at the University's discretion.
  3. No temporary work assignment described or covered under these guidelines is intended or offered as a permanent assignment.