Section 6 - Attendance/Leave



Revised: 5/01/02; 1/01/07

1. Policy: To the extent reasonably possible, Lamar University will assist employees temporarily restricted from performing their regularly assigned duties by modifying work assignments or duties for a set time; after which it is hoped that the employee will be able to resume regular duties. In addition, whenever feasible, Lamar University will assist employees unable to resume their regular duties in transferring to positions at Lamar University better suited to their capabilities.

2. Scope: This policy applies to all Lamar University employees. This modified duty program can be utilized only by an employee during his/her tenure of employment with Lamar University. After the end of three months of light duty, the employee will not be eligible for light duty until the completion of 12 months of service.

3. Purpose: This policy establishes guidelines by which Lamar University provides modified work duties for employees with injuries or illness, in order that the employee may return to work before receiving a full release from the attending physician.

4. Procedure:

4.1 Duration: a period not to exceed three (3) months.

4.2 Documentation by Employee's Physician: The employee's physician shall determine and document in writing to Lamar University temporary restrictions to the employee's work duties and prognosis of return to full duty.

4.3 In cases involving on-the-job injuries, Sections 4.3-7 apply. Upon receipt of written documentation from the employee's physician requiring temporary work restrictions, the Worker’s Compensation Coordinator or the Safety Officer may contact the employee's physician regarding Lamar University's commitment to rehabilitation and will provide information regarding Lamar University's return-to-work procedures and the employee's job description.

4.4 Lamar University Evaluation of Employee and Placement Opportunities:

4.4.1 When the physician notifies the Worker’s Compensation Coordinator that the employee is able to return to work in a modified capacity, the Worker’s Compensation Coordinator will work with the supervisor in the home department to attempt to establish a light duty assignment, if possible.

4.4.2 If the employee's home department is unable to accommodate the work limitations or the employee performing modified duties on a temporary basis, the Worker’s Compensation Coordinator will notify the Safety Officer and request exploration outside the home department. The Safety Officer, to the extent feasible, will attempt to place the employee in another Lamar University department in a position consistent with the employee's capabilities and qualifications.

4.4.3 Whenever the home department cannot accommodate the employee performing modified duties and the Human Resources Office places the employee in another department, the employee’s wages will either be paid from the vacant line in the acquiring department or the Safety Officer will work with Human Resources on funding.

5. Work Document:

5.1 Once alternative duty has been established by the employee's department (either home or new) the department offering this work must create a Work Document specifying the following:

5.1.1 A short description of the job.

5.1.2 A description of the physical requirements to perform the required tasks (e.g., lifting weight (pounds), amount of sitting, walking, bending, stooping, etc.)

5.2 Before the employee can return to work, the employee, the employee's supervisor, and the Lamar Safety Officer must agree in writing to the requirements of the temporary modified work assignment. The employee's physician may be asked to review and initial the work document before the employee may return to work. The Work Document is valid for the stated period not to exceed three (3) months.

6. Employee Responsibilities:

6.1 The employee must be briefed regarding the kind of work which he/she will be required to perform.

6.2 After receiving such a briefing, the employee must be willing to give the alternative duty full attention and best effort.

Any employee who exhibits unsatisfactory work habits (see paragraphs 3 and 4, Policy Number 5.4) will be treated identically to any other employee. The supervisor will follow the guidelines as established in Policy Number 5.5 to discipline the employee on the Return-to-Work program. The employee may be terminated from employment should she/he fail to respond to the corrective disciplinary actions as outlined in paragraph 6, Policy Number 5.4.

7. Return to Work: When released by the attending physician to return to regular duties, the employee will return to his/her regular position in the home department.

8. Extended/Permanent Disability:

8.1 If the modified duty assignment ends and the employee is not released by the attending physician to return to his/her regular duties, the employee may request Extended Leave Without Pay while other options such as Long Term Disability or Disability Retirement are explored. The Office of Human Resources will assist the employee with these options.

8.2 If the employee's disability is determined to be permanent, where possible the University will provide reasonable accommodation to that disability consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act.