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TRANSITIONAL DUTY EMPLOYMENT. Karen C. Jackson Office of Risk Management Facilitator. Expected Workshop Goals. Reduce some of the high costs of workers’ compensation. Expected Workshop Goals. A better understanding of Transitional Duty Employment. Transitional Duty Employment.

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TRANSITIONAL DUTY EMPLOYMENT

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TRANSITIONAL DUTY EMPLOYMENT

Karen C. Jackson

Office of Risk

Management

Facilitator


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Expected Workshop Goals

Reduce some of the high

costs of workers’

compensation


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Expected Workshop Goals

A better understanding

of

Transitional Duty

Employment


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Transitional Duty Employment

Reduce workers’

compensation costs

Workers’ Compensation

more effective


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Workers’ Compensation Coverage

Injured workers entitled to

  • medical

  • indemnity benefits


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ORM Workers’ Comp Statistics

5000 active claims

1000 compensation checks

regularly

$48 mil on workers’

compensation

Money comes directly from

agency budgets


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Enables IW to go

from here

Transitional Duty Employment


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Transitional Duty Employment

To here


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Agency Concerns

Can’t take IW’S back to

work unless full duty

Civil Service won’t let us

take IW’S back unless they

are at 100%


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Dispel the Myths


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Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 50 - 1997

Cooperation between

  • Department of Civil Service

  • Division of Administration

  • Office of Risk

    Management

    Formal return-to-work

    program for state employees


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Civil Service Circular No. 1290

July 9, 1997

Return-To-Work Policy

for classified State

employees


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Civil Service Circular No. 1290

Allow state employees

injured on job to come back

to work

  • Light duty

  • Limited duty

  • Restricted duty


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Pilot Program

Pinecrest Developmental

Center

Highest volume of workers

compensation lost time

claims

Highest workers’

compensation premiums


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Pilot Program

Pinecrest developed

transitional duty policy

1 year pilot


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Before Pilot Program

They ain’t gonna take me

back!


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After Pilot Program

Pinecrest employees

returned to work, limited

duty


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Pilot Program

First six (6) months of

transitional duty pilot

  • 15% reduction of monthly indemnity pay-out


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Pilot Program

36% reduction of

indemnity pay-out at end

of one (1) year


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Pilot Program Beneficial

ORM sought legislative

remedy to require state

agencies to have transitional

duty program

IW’S would be RTW

once released bytreating

physician


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1999 - Senate bill 689

Gave ORM authority

  • develop

    and

  • administer transitional duty program for state employees


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R.S. 39:1547

Good for Louisiana

Took an act of

legislation to get this

done


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Related Legislation

R.S. 39:1543

Loss prevention

audit process

  • Do state agencies have TD program?

  • Are agencies actively trying to RTW IW’S back to work?


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5% Premium Penalty

Failure to have policy

Failure to have transitional

duty employment program

Failure to return IW’S back

to work once released

May affect outcome of safety

audit


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Transitional Duty Employment

ORM developed

Transitional Duty

Program.

Administered by contract

vendor.


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ORM’s Transitional Duty Policy

http://www.state.la.us/orm/pdf/tranduty.pdf


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Transitional Duty Employment

Mirror ORM’S TD

policy or develop own


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Case Study

LaWanda


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Case Study - LaWanda

Friends

Co-workers

Relatives


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Case Study - LaWanda

LaWanda got hurt on the

job and now she’s not

working

WHY?


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Case Study - LaWanda

Reason is simple—

LaWanda’s employer

won’t let her work


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Case Study - LaWanda

LaWanda’s doctor says

she can work


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Case Study - LaWanda

LaWanda

feels like she can

work


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Case Study - LaWanda

But --

LaWanda’s not working


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Case Study - LaWanda

Some background on

LaWanda


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Case Study - LaWanda

Help mentally deficient

residents with activities

of daily living


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Case Study - LaWanda

Pulled muscle in back 3

months ago

  • and now LaWanda

    can’t work


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Case Study - LaWanda

ORM starts workers’

compensation benefits


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Case Study - LaWanda

Conservative treatment Dr.

Mild for 3 months

Dr. Mild says LaWandacan

do something

Releases LaWanda to RTW

except…

can’t lift over 25 pounds


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Case Study - LaWanda

LaWanda is so happy

she can go back to work


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LaWanda takes supervisor

copy of RTW slip

RTW slip has lifting restriction of no more than 25 pounds

Case Study - LaWanda


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Supervisor says,

“I can’t use you LaWanda until you can come back to work full duty.”

Case Study - LaWanda


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Case Study - LaWanda

Took all the wind out of

poor LaWanda


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Case Study - LaWanda

LaWanda goes home -

gives bad news to adjuster

Develops renewed interest:

  • The Young & The Restless

  • Jerry Springer

  • Gardening


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Case Study - LaWanda

Because LaWanda’s not

allowed to work,

restricted duty --

Compensation benefits

continue to be paid


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Case Study - LaWanda

LaWanda’s doctor doesn’t

see what the big deal is,

  • As her doctor, he knows LaWanda can work


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Case Study - LaWanda

LaWanda doesn’t see what

the big deal is either,

  • She knows she can work

  • She can do everything her job requires her to do

    • except the lifting


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Case Study - LaWanda

LaWanda’s supervisor

doesn’t see what the big deal

is, either

  • After all, LaWanda’s being paid workers’ comp anyway, right?

  • What’s the big deal?!


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Transitional Duty Employment

The big deal is:

once workers’

compensation benefits

are started

  • they continue until IW RTW or

  • is released to RTW regular duties by treating physician


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Rehabilitation of Injured Workers

If an IW unable to return

to previous work earning

90% or greater of

pre-injury wage …


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Rehabilitation of Injured Workers

R. S. 23:1226

Employer must provide

rehabilitative services

-job placement

-retraining


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Rehabilitation of Injured Workers

Rehabilitation of IW’S

automatically adds an

additional $5,000 –

$13,000

to value of a claim.


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Rehabilitation of Injured Workers

Employers must make

every effort to return

IW’S back to work

Even if cannot return to

work full duty.


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Rehabilitation of Injured Workers

As long as IW off work

  • comp and medical benefits continue

  • these affect premiums


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Transitional Duty Employment

R.S. 23:1221(3)

IW entitled to

supplemental earnings

benefits (SEB) if

unable to earn 90% or

greater of pre-injury

wage.


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Transitional Duty Employment

SEB based on 66 2/3

difference between

pre-injury wage and

what employee now

capable of earning.


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Transitional Duty Employment

While this reduces

benefits, benefits are still

being paid.


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Rehabilitation of Injured Workers

If the claim is settled

$30,000 - $40,000

added to value of

claim.


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Transitional Duty Employment

Only way to stop

payments altogether


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Transitional Duty Employment

Return IW to work with

employer on transitional

duty


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Transitional Duty Employment

Transitional duty can be:

  • Job modification

  • Light duty

  • Restricted duty


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Cut Workers’ Compensation Costs

Absolute must to

keeping workers’

compensation costs

down


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Transitional Duty Employment

When IW sitting home

watching Dr. Phil


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Transitional Duty Employment

Commercial comes on

asking,

  • “Have you been hurt on the job?

  • Call me, I’m a lawyer, I can help.

  • I can get you top $$ for yourclaim.”


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Transitional Duty Employment

This is how he does it

and

employers help IW’S

attorney by not

returning IW’S back to

work light duty


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It Doesn’t Matter What It’s Called

Transitional Duty

Light Duty

Restricted Duty

Modified Duty

Temporary Assignment

of Duties


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Just Do It!

Whatever you call it, just

get ‘em back to work!

Absolute must for

keeping workers’

compensation costs

down.


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Would you like for your employee to sit here?

Think About It


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Think About It

Or here?


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Think About It

When an employee is

home collecting a comp

check -


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Think About It

The work piles up!!!

Somebody’s gotta do it

or it doesn’t get done


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Successful TransitionalDuty


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Focus on what the IW

CAN do

Focus of Transitional Duty Employment


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Focus of Transitional Duty Employment

Do not focus on what IW

CANNOT do


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Focus of Transitional Duty Employment

Transitional Duty

Employment doesn’t

have to be nicest,

coolest, best job you

have to offer.


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Successful TransitionalDuty

Exercise discretion and

caution in determining

the transitional duties to

be assigned.


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Successful TransitionalDuty

Transitional duty

employment must not

lower the performance

standards and

expectations of the job as

a whole


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Successful TransitionalDuty

Transitional duty

employment should not

establish a precedent

for a lower level of

duties and performance

that other employees

might then expect to be

applied to them


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Successful TransitionalDuty

Transitional duty

employment should not

have the effect of

permanently lowering

the employee’s Civil

Service job title.


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Successful TransitionalDuty

Department of Civil

Service, Program

Assistance Division

can give guidance in

evaluating transitional

duty employment.


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Successful TransitionalDuty

Transitional Duty

feasible

  • IW released to some form of employment


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Successful TransitionalDuty

Open mind of employer


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Successful TransitionalDuty

Agency involvement

Employer must make

accommodations when

IW has been released to

some form of restricted

duty


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Successful TransitionalDuty

Commitment required at all levels of agency

  • Management

  • Employees


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Successful TransitionalDuty

Develop a Transitional

Duty Employment

statement

Communicate with the injured worker


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Successful TransitionalDuty

Do not work someone

outside of the restrictions

  • Leads to re-injury

  • Make doctor take employee off work permanently


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Successful TransitionalDuty

Modified job offers

  • identify tasks ahead of time

  • notify IW in writing

    Job modification should

    come in all sizes and

    shapes


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Successful TransitionalDuty

A DEAL’S A DEAL.

Make sure job is open

and available when IW

returns to work


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Transitional Duty Works

Effective in both public and

private sector

18% decrease in disability

costs

Keep productivity and

employee moral up

Get employee back into work

environment as soon as medically

possible


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RETURN TO WORK PAYS

Employer credibility

  • Employees

  • Medical professionals

  • Attorneys


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RETURN TO WORK PAYS

Attorneys can’t bluff

adjusters


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Decreased medical cost

Decreased indemnity

costs

RETURN TO WORK PAYS


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RETURN TO WORK PAYS OFF

Adjusters free to

concentrate on

substantive claims

handling


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RETURN TO WORK PAYS OFF

Litigation diminished


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RETURN TO WORK PAYS OFF

Employees are not

separated from the

worksite unnecessarily


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RETURN TO WORK PAYS OFF

Transitional Duty

Employment helps

comply with ADA


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Transitional Duty Works

It’s economical

IW benefits: returned to

a productive lifestyle

Employer benefits: no

double encumbering

Return-to-work makes

good business sense

IT’S A WIN – WIN SITUATION


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HANDOUT


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Website information

  • ORM website for workers’ comp forms:

    http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/orm/formsCR.htm

  • LDOL / OWCA’s website:

    http://www.ldol.state.la.us/qm_formsindexdetail.asp?LookupValue=OWCA

  • ISIS WEBSITE

    http://www.doa.state.la.us/osis


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Adjuster Assignments – p. 1


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Adjuster Assignments – p. 2


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Adjuster Assignments – p. 3


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Contact Information

Contact me:

Karen C. Jackson

State Risk Claims Manager

P. O. Box 91106

Baton Rouge, LA 70821-9106

225-342-7390 (p)

225-342-4470 (f)

Karen.Jackson@la.gov


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Are there any questions?


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