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Administrative (Non-Clinical) Policy
This administrative policy applies to the operations and staff of the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and
Clinics Authority (UWHCA) as integrated effective July 1, 2015, including the legacy operations and
staff of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and University of Wisconsin Medical
Policy Title: Workers’ Compensation: Alternate Assignment
Policy Number: 9.33
Effective Date: October 19, 2017
Chapter: Human Resources
To assist employees who have sustained a work-related injury by facilitating the employees' return to the
work environment as soon as they are able, and thus enhance the recovery process, minimize the time
away from work, and minimize the total cost of the injury.
II. POLICY ELEMENTS
The health and well-being of all employees is of great importance to UW Health. It is well established
that effective rehabilitation and treatment includes keeping physically and mentally active within the
restrictions of the particular injury.
Consistent with the general intent of Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 102 (Worker's Compensation), UW
Health will make every reasonable effort to return to the workplace those permanent employees who have
sustained work-related injuries or illnesses, and as a result are temporarily or permanently prevented from
returning to their full former employment. At the discretion of UW Health, other employees may be
returned to work early and given light duty assignments as appropriate.
A. Work-related injury or illness - an injury or illness for which UW Health has approved Worker's
Compensation benefits under Hospital Administrative Policy 9.17-Worker's Compensation.
B. Alternate assignment - a temporary assignment other than the employee's original position which
will accommodate the employee's early return-to-work with temporary work restrictions while
recovering from a work related injury. The temporary assignment is not intended to exceed three
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A. The employee's physician will recommend when the employee is able to return to work and
indicate any medical restrictions. The employee is responsible for:
1. Providing the physician's recommendations to Employee Health Service (EHS) and the
Worker's Compensation Department (WCD).
2. Scheduling an appointment with Employee Health Service for an evaluation regarding the
employee's return to work.
B. The employing department shall make all reasonable efforts to attempt to identify alternate duties
within the employee's restrictions.
C. If the employing department has exhausted all reasonable efforts and is unable to locate an
alternate assignment, the WCD will then attempt to identify an alternate assignment in another
UW Health department.
D. The employing department or other department making an alternate assignment available shall
develop a description of temporary duties in consultation with the WCD. Supervisors: Please
refer to the sample of "Alternate Assignment Description of Duties," available on the Manager
E. The department in which the alternate assignment will be performed will designate a department
representative to orient the injured employee to the alternate assignment. The department
representative shall meet with the injured employee to discuss the instructions identified in
"Instructions for Employees on An Alternate Assignment". (A copy of this document is attached
to this policy.)
F. Continued participation in the Alternate Assignment Program will be evaluated as medical
restrictions are updated by the WCD and EHS in consultation with the department where the
alternate assignment is being performed. Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, an
alternate assignment will not last longer than three months. Alternate Assignment may be
extended after discussion among WCD, the Department Manager, and HR.
G. The Worker's Compensation budget currently supports the Alternate Assignment Program. Thus,
the salaries/wages and benefits of employees participating in the Alternate Assignment Program
are paid from the Worker's Compensation cost center, not from the cost center of the employing
department. Fiscal Affairs will transfer funds from Worker's Compensation until the alternate
assignment is complete. Worker's Compensation and Alternate Assignment costs, however, will
be tracked by department for performance improvement measures.
H. Failure to accept an alternate assignment may affect the employee's eligibility for continued
worker's compensation wages pursuant to statute 102.44 (6). The Human Resources Department
will review all situations where an employee has refused to accept an alternate assignment and
determine if further action is required.
Sr. Management Sponsor: SVP, Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel
Author: Worker's Compensation Program Manager
Reviewer(s): Employee Health Services; Director, Human Resources
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Approval Committee: UW Health Administrative Policy & Procedure Committee
UW Health Chief Administrative Officer