Human Resources
Mitchell 1st Floor, MS: 7425
Phone: (509) 963-1202
Fax: (509) 963-1733

Instructions & Benefits to Limited or Temporarily Restricted Work

Does not apply to a return to work after COVID/FMLA Leave for childcare.

Following an absence due to a worker’s comp injury, illness, or medical condition, your employee may be released to return to work on a limited basis and/or with specific temporary work restrictions. When possible, returning your employee to work on transitional modified duty or light duty benefits both you and your employee.

    Employee Benefits

    • Improves financial stability
    • Reduces stress
    • Preserves seniority
    • Maintains work relationships
    • Motivates employees during recovery

    Employer Benefits

    • Retains experienced employees
    • Improves morale
    • Increases productivity
    • Requires less time recruiting/hiring
    • Reduces worker's compensation costs

    IMPORTANT: Please be aware that you must not allow employees to begin working without proper medical clearance or allow them to work outside the scope of medical restrictions. Doing so could cause your employee to injure themselves or someone else and could result in disciplinary action.

    Before leave begins

    1. Discuss the following with employee:
    • Start date of leave
    • Anticipated length of leave (if known)
    • Whether temporary or work restrictions are anticipated upon return to work

    Note: Do not ask your employee to divulge specific medical details.

    1. Contact Human Resources at (509) 963-1202 or to discuss plan and ask questions.

    Let HR know if you are calling regarding FMLA or Worker’s Comp so you are directed to correct person.

    1. Meet with employee to discuss:
    • Weekly check-in plan if leave is expected to last more than one week
    • How to report time (such as FMLA, shared leave, etc.)

    While employee is on leave

    1. Stay in touch. Ensure your employee communicates with you as planned.
    2. Communicate with HR as you receive updates from your employee.

      Note: Forward any doctor’s notes or other medical information you receive to HR.
    3. Begin working with HR to identify light duty/modified duty options based on known or anticipated work restrictions.
    4. As your employee’s return-to-work date approaches, consider scheduling a meeting with HR and your employee to help facilitate return.

    When employee returns

    IMPORTANT: Before allowing employee to return to work (including light duty or work from home), ensure HR has received a doctor’s release allowing employee to return to work.

    If there are temporary work restrictions:

    • Meet with employee on or soon after first day back
    • Review light duty/modified duty work restrictions with employee
    • Discuss need for medical updates as employee progresses back to full duty
    • Discuss other issues or questions as applicable