Workers injured on the job may need to take considerable time off of work to recover and regain strength. The support of a workers’ compensation policy can provide injured workers with financial benefits to help them meet day-to-day obligations while they cannot work.
As people recover, they may wish to return to work and resume their responsibilities as much as their condition allows. Employers should continue to provide support during the transition period and do their due diligence in facilitating a successful return to work.
The purpose of the ADAAA
The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 provides clarification on the definition of “disability.” According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the broadened definition of “disability” aims to make the process of claiming a disability easier.
ADA regulations provide their own description of disabilities and many injured people found it challenging to explain how their disability met the required criteria. With the added context of the ADAAA, injured workers can assess their condition, claim disability and receive the necessary protection and resources to meet their needs.
An employer’s responsibility
Experts recommend that employers include a return-to-work provision in their workers’ compensation benefits package. This means that employers should continue to provide benefits and resources during the time a worker transitions back to work rather than discontinuing benefits as soon as an injured worker reaches maximum recovery. According to The Society for Human Resource Management, some companies forget the ADAAA requirements and prematurely assume that their responsibilities end.
A well-written return-to-work policy will address a worker’s unique circumstances and will take into account medical notes and diagnoses. After analyzing a worker’s skills and needs, employers should collaborate with their injured workers to identify which modifications will allow them to perform their jobs safely and efficiently as they continue to recover.