Support Staff Policies & Procedures

Support Staff Policy & Procedure for Return to Work of Employees Receiving Long Term Disability or Workers' Compensation

Policy

Applies to: Employees receiving Long-Term Disability or Workers' Compensation

The University is committed to the continuing identification, evaluation and rehabilitation of ill or injured employees receiving or expected to receive Long-Term Disability (LTD) or Workers' Compensation (WC) for the purpose of returning them to active service.

MSU Human Resources Talent Management coordinates the relocation of returning support staff employees. Faculty and academic staff relocations are coordinated through Academic Human Resources.

Departments are expected to re-employ returning employees and make reasonable accommodations unless they can demonstrate the accommodation would impose an unduehardship on their operations.

Procedure

Evaluation of LTD/WC employees: 
Disability Management Committee: Representatives from MSU Human Resources, the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities and the University Physician comprise a Disability Management Committee (DMC) which:

University Physician:Where the DMC identifies the need or when requested by the department, members of the DMC refer employees to the University Physician for evaluation. If the employee is approved to return to work with/without restrictions, the DMC evaluates the report of the University Physician to determine an appropriate job placement. The University Physician may be asked to determine whether proposed job duties are appropriate considering an employee's restrictions.

Return to work without restrictions: Employees able to return to work without restrictions, or very minor limitations, are referred back to their former department. Reasonable accommodations may be necessary (see Policy and Procedure for disability/reasonable accommodations). Employees returning to their former classifications shall be paid no less than their former rate of pay.

Return to work with restrictions: Employees with restrictions may be returned to their former positions on an accommodated basis, or they may be offered "favored" employment in such classifications as general worker or clerk (see general worker provisions below). A written job offer will be sent to employees entering "favored" employment that states the pay rate, description of duties, and anticipated duration of the assignment.

Responsibility of employing department: MSU Human Resources Talent Management will consider position placement in any available department; however, the primary responsibility remains with the department in which the employee worked when he/she became disabled (home department).

A new department offering temporary work to a returning employee is responsible for supervision and evaluation of the employee. During a temporary assignment, the home department remains responsible for tracking and paying costs for accrued and accruing sick, vacation and personal leave balances.

Impact on LTD/WC benefits and leave status: Employees returning to work in classifications which pay less than their LTD and/or WC benefit payments may receive supplemental pay through LTD and/or WC. An employee who declines an offer to return to work may have his/her LTD and/or WC benefits reduced or discontinued.

Employees who are unsuccessful in returning to work in their former or lower classification and are returned to their LTD and/or WC status, will be eligible for a new two-year maximum leave of absence if they have successfully completed a 176 working-hour period. Employees who do not complete 176 working hours will have only the hours worked credited to their original leave of absence.

General worker provisions: The classification of general worker is a "favored" work assignment used to accommodate a labor-type employee's work limitation(s) which are expected to last less than 12 months. For information regarding non-labor "favored" work assignments, units should contact MSU Human Resources Talent Management at 517-353-4434.

Employees in this classification receive seniority, both University and bargaining unit, as though they were working in a regular classification represented by Locals 1585 or 999. The seniority will accrue in the home unit of the employee.

Employees in this classification will continue in the union group held prior to the illness/injury.

Employees in this classification receive all benefits as though employed in their former positions as per contractual provisions. University contribution to Base Retirement Plan will be 10% of the salary earned as a general worker.

Designation and administration of the general worker classification is through MSU Human Resources Talent Management.

Notification in writing to the respective unions will be given for employee placements into and from the general worker classification.

Employees are considered to be on active status while classified as general workers.

Employees are not permitted to supplement earnings with sick leave accruals while working full-time as a general worker.

Establishing/implementing accommodated positions: 
Employment:To establish or reclassify a position to accommodate an employee, a staffing request action through COMPASS is initiated by MSU Human Resources Talent Management after consultation with the Disability Management Committee and the department. MSU Human Resources Talent Management will forward the action to the department for confirmation of job duties and authorized signatures.

Department: Review staffing request action, approve and return to MSU Human Resources Talent Management.

NOTE: See Policy and Procedure(s) for leave of absence without pay, leave of absence with pay, extended disability leave, Long-Term Disability and Workers' Compensation.

Refer questions to: MSU Human Resources (telephone 517-353-4434, e-mail)

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