Return to Work Program

The Return to Work Program allows staff to continue working if they cannot do their normal duties because of a job-related illness or injury. Almost any Vanderbilt full-time or part-time staff member who has temporary restrictions from a job-related injury or illness is eligible to participate in the program.

Do I have to work if I am hurt on the job, or do I have a choice?
The Return to Work Program is a great benefit, and it is totally voluntary. You can also choose to take family medical leave (FMLA) instead. If you choose FMLA, apply as you normally would. Taking FMLA could affect your workers' compensation benefits, so you may want to discuss this choice with Human Resources and Risk Management before you apply.

What if I want to work, but my supervisor cannot find modified duty for me?
Call the Return to Work Coordinator (615-936-0955). We will make every effort to help your supervisor find suitable work within your department.

If I start feeling better, can I just do my regular duties?
You must have a written release from your medical provider so that everyone knows it's safe for you to return to full duty.

What if I try but still cannot do my modified duty?
Tell your supervisor and then call the Return to Work Coordinator (615-936-0955) right away if you are having trouble doing any tasks. You may need to see your provider to make sure that you can safely stay on modified duty.

How long can I stay on modified duty in the Return to Work Program?
For up to 90 calendar days per work-related injury or illness.

What happens after 90 days?
If your restrictions last more than 90 days, you may need a long term plan. The Return to Work Coordinator will ask Employee Relations (VUMC) or Equal Opportunity and Access (VU) to help you and your supervisor decide the next step.

Key Contacts:

For questions about Workers' Compensation Benefits:

Medical Center Employees

Risk & Insurance Management
2525 West End Ave., Suite 700

University Employees

Office of Human Resources
110 21st Avenue, Baker Building, 10th Floor

For Questions about FMLA/Medical Leave:

Medical Center HR Employee Service Center: 615-322-7441

University HR Employee Service Center: 615-343-4125

For questions about work restrictions after 90 days:

Medical Center Employees

Employee and Labor Relations
2525 West End Ave., Ste. 500

University Employees

Equal Opportunity and Access
Loews Vanderbilt Office Building
2100 West End Ave., Suite 700

Additional Information:

Medical Center Return to Work Policy

Medical Center Employees HR FMLA Forms and Instructions

University Employees Return to Work Policy 

University Employees HR FMLA Forms and Instructions

Keywords: RTW, workers' compensation