The importance of return to work slips
When returning to work from a medical leave, an employee must provide the supervisor with a slip from the health care provider stating that the employee is released to return to work. This release may also note restrictions the employee has when returning to work. If an employee does not have a return-to-work slip, the employee cannot be allowed to work until he or she has one. Letting an employee work without a return-to-work slip puts both the employee and the University at risk.
Sometimes employees know the department is in a bind without them at work. They feel guilty for needing to take leave, and they want to come back to work before their health care provider has given them a release. Without knowing if the employee can fully return, the employee is putting his or her health at risk, as well as the University. Returning to work too soon could cause further medical problems for the employee.
If a supervisor allows an employee to work without the return-to-work slip, the employee could hold the University responsible for any complications that result from coming back to work too soon or not following restrictions. While the employee’s intentions are good, the result may not be what was expected.
Often employees just forget to ask their health care provider to give them a return-to-work slip, believing they have been released. In all cases, documentation to verify the release must be obtained.
If possible, the employee can call the health care provider’s office and ask the provider to fax a return-to-work slip to you, the supervisor. If that is not possible, the employee can go to the health care provider’s office and obtain a return-to-work slip to bring back to you.
- Sharon Williams, senior employee relations specialist
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LeadingEdition is an electronic newsletter for Purdue University supervisors. It is produced and distributed by Purdue University Human Resources four times annually. If you have questions, comments or suggestions relating to the newsletter, please call 49-41679 or email us. Thank you.