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California Disability Regulations require that when an employee is released to return to work with work restrictions imposed by the treating physician, an employer’s representative must engage with the employee in a discussion known as “Interactive Process (IP)”. The objective of the discussion is to find potential solutions to accommodate the employee’s restrictions on a temporary basis so the employee can return to work.

Please Note: An employer cannot unilaterally decide to put an employee on a leave, even when limitations are temporary. Employers should consider accommodating the employee’s current job or modify the job and discuss with the employee.

How to Engage in the IP Process

  1. Review Medical Documentation
  2. Try to identify potential accommodations
  3. Talk with the employee and get their input on potential job task
  4. Consider the employee’s recommendations and assess the reasonableness/effective of the accommodation

Accommodating Modified Job Duties

  • Review the employee’s work restrictions and complete a TRTW (Transitional Return to Work) agreement form with the job assignment that complies with the employee’s work restrictions and is feasible for the department
  • Contact the Return to Work Coordinators (RWC) at Insurance and Risk Management (IRM), or the HRPCN regarding any questions about the TRTW
  • Complete the TRTW agreement form. The form must be signed by the manager and the employee
  • Remind injured employee to provide the supervisor the Work Status/Aftercare Instructions sheet given to him after each medical appointment by Occupational Health Facility (OHF – if employee sustained an injury on the job), or by the employee’s treating physician

TRTW (Transitional Return to Work) Agreement Form

Managing an Ongoing TRTW Agreement

  • When the employee’s medical leave of absence is extended beyond the date of the initial TRTW agreement, an extension of the TRTW agreement is required
  • Remind the employee to bring a new Work Status/Aftercare Instruction sheet, or an updated doctor’s note. The leave of absence cannot be extended without a valid doctor’s note
  • Make sure that the TRTW Job Assignment does not exceed the end date noted in the TRTW agreement. The TRTW agreement typically does not exceed ninety (90) calendar days
  • Fax or email all Work Status/Aftercare Instruction Sheets to the RTW Coordinators listed below AND the HRPCN

If the Department is Unable to Accommodate the Work Restrictions:
Ask the employee if they would like to:

  1. Take a Leave of Absence
  2. Look for Alternative Work

If the Employee would like to take a Leave of Absence:

  • Complete the TRTW Denial-opt for leave letter
  • Mail or hand the original letter to the employee
  • Information to be included in the denial letter: The date of the medical note, restrictions and the date of next medical appointment

If Employee would like to look for alternative work:

  • Complete the TRTW Denial-opt for alternative work letter
  • Mail or Hand the original letter to the employee
  • Instruct the employee to contact assigned RTW Coordinator
  • Information to Include in the denial letter: the date of the medical note, restrictions, date of next appointment and RTW Coordinator Contact Info
Irma Bebe x 46951 A-C
John Maier x 49439 D-J
x42146 K-P
Cari Blitzer x46955 Q-Z

Email completed TRTW Agreements and TRTW Denial Letters to:
Return to Work Coordinators at Employee Disability Management

Benefits Team at the HRPCN

Intercampus Mail: Original Document to the HRPCN Mailcode: 138307