OIG: What actions should USPS take to return injured employees back to work in limited duty assignments?

Project Title: Postal Service’s Limited Duty and Rehabilitation Programs Return to Work Processes
Start Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Estimated Report Release Date: December 2017

The OIG is conducting an audit to assess whether the Postal Service is effectively managing the Limited Duty and Rehabilitation Programs to facilitate returning injured employees that are deemed fit to work timely. The Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) is a workers’ compensation law covering Postal Service employees who are injured on the job. FECA is administered by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) within the Department of Labor (DOL). The Postal Service pays all medical and compensation benefits authorized by OWCP as well as an administration fee to the DOL for administering the FECA.

Under FECA, employees who fully or partially recover from their injuries are expected to return to work.

The Postal Service established the Limited Duty and Rehabilitation programs to help return employees back to work and to deal with the escalating costs of workers’ compensation benefits. The Postal Service Limited Duty Program was designed to accommodate injured employees who are temporarily unable to perform their regular functions with work assignments within their medical limitations.

Under the Rehabilitation Program, when an employee’s injury is considered permanent or the employee has reached maximum medical improvement, the Postal Service, in coordination with DOL, may provide a rehabilitation assignment. Employees in permanent rehabilitation positions have the same rights to pursue promotional and advancement opportunities as other employees, and they can work outside of their craft and facility.

  • What has been your experience with injured employees and returning them to work?
  • What are possible reasons why injured employees are not returned to work?
  • What are some best practices or strategies for returning employees back to work?
  • What work assignments are available for injured employees?

Source: What actions should USPS take to return injured employees back to work in limited duty assignments? | USPS Office of Inspector General

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