Modified Duty

Modified Duty/Return to Work Restrictions

Required Documentation

The attending physician or medical provider determines medical restrictions. Employees should receive a Work Status Report at each appointment that should be provided to their supervisor within one business day of the appointment. The medical provider will indicate on this report one of the following:


  1. Employee is released to regular duty on (specific date).
  2. Employee may return to modified duty on (specific date) and work restrictions are specified. Work restrictions can be either time spent working or function related.
  3. Employee may not return to work until re-evaluated.


At each subsequent physician visit, the employee will receive a new work status form or some form of written documentation pertaining to restrictions. The employee must always give a copy of this information to his/her supervisor after each visit and before returning to duty.

The employee should be encouraged to inform his/her supervisor of any problem and the supervisor will contact the approved medical provider for a follow-up appointment or contact University Human Resources to discuss return to work accommodations.

Modified Duty

If the supervisor cannot modify job tasks temporarily, an employee can be sent home until the employee's next medical appointment or until the work status form verifies a change in work restrictions. Our goal is to provide accommodation whenever possible during a temporary healing period due to a work related injury/illness.

Permanent and Temporary Work Restrictions

Temporary restrictions are restrictions that will be in effect for a specific period of time. These will and should change as an injured employee receives medical treatment and their condition improves.

Permanent restrictions are restrictions in effect for the duration of a person's working life or as long as the employee remains permanently disabled. The medical provider assesses these restrictions after the employee has reached maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is the point at which the physician believes the employee's condition is not going to improve any further.

Refusal of Modified Work Duty

Refusal of light-duty assignments, when the physician recommends work restrictions, may affect the employee's legal right to workers' compensation benefits. Contact University Human Resources if there are questions concerning the light-duty assignment to facilitate additional follow-up with both the physician and supervisor or to ask the assistance of Human Resources/Employee Relations.

Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)

Maximum Medical Improvement occurs when an employee who has been injured reaches a state where his or her condition cannot be improved any further or when a plateau has been reached in his or her healing process.