Returning back to work, even with temporary work restrictions, is perhaps the most significant way you can speed your full recovery. Your work restrictions may relate to the number of hours you can work, the amount of weight you can lift, the length of time you can stand, and/or other physical limitations. These restrictions will require both you and your supervisor to have a good understanding of how the restrictions translate into your day-to-day job responsibilities. For example, if you have a temporary 5 lb. lifting restriction, both you and your supervisor will need to know what portions of your job that you may not be able to do, whether this task is a key job responsibility, or a task you may need assistance to complete. Additionally there might be alternative job responsibilities that you can pick up while others are picking up a portion of your usual job.
You must provide the Office of Risk Management with a Modified Duty Agreement which clearly states that you may return to work with restrictions and what your restrictions are. We will then partner with your supervisor to ensure that you are only doing tasks within your restrictions and what the duration will be. After each doctor visit, you should ensure that you provide the Modified Duty Agreement and that you are in constant communication with your supervisor as to your doctor's instructions for you.
The Office of Risk Management is available to speak with you about your work restriction(s) and the anticipated duration of those restrictions.
You must contact the SMU Department of Human Resources.
While you are still in the healing process, a suitable position is one which enables you to add value to Southern Methodist University's mission while maximizing your skill set and is within your physical restrictions. After you have recovered as much as possible (i.e. there may be some permanent limitations compared to your physical abilities before the injury), a suitable position must also be one which SMU would recruit and fill irrespective of whether you were a candidate for the job. Your treating physician and/or rehabilitation professional may, for example, review information about the position, speak with the supervisor for the position about the job requirements and physical demands, observe other staff performing the job, and/or request an ergonomic evaluation of the physical demands of the position in developing an opinion regarding whether the demands of the position are within your physical restrictions and abilities.
Southern Methodist University strives to find work within your department to comply with temporary restrictions. If your department does not have any tasks that are within your restrictions, then every effort will be made to find work at the University that allows you to be productive but remains within your restrictions. Please speak with Risk Management for more details about this program.