In Illinois, temporary transitional employment provisions enable injured employees to return to work at off-site locations through third-party vendors when they have been released with restrictions. These provisions are becoming increasingly popular with employers because they can help reduce the costs of temporary total disability that employers have to pay to workers whose work-related injuries have left them disabled.
What Is Temporary Transitional Employment?
Many employers have return-to-work programs that help get their injured workers back to work more quickly. These types of programs can help the employers reduce the costs associated with workplace injuries. Some workplaces are unable to offer accommodations for workers who are released back to work with restrictions, however. These employers might have temporary transitional employment provisions in place for their workers.
Temporary transitional employment is work that is completed off-site through third parties such as non-profits or charities. The workers may have to perform light duty or restricted duty work at these locations until they are cleared to return to their jobs without restrictions. Some employers require that injured workers agree to the temporary transitional employment as a requirement for returning to their jobs when they have recovered. Temporary job offers must be bona fide. If an employee refuses to accept a bona fide temporary job offer, then the employer may be able to suspend the employee’s temporary total disability benefits, according to Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers.
Workers who are released to return to work and who are given permanent restrictions may be able to secure permanent total disability benefits instead of becoming forced to accept temporary transitional employment.
Some argue that forcing injured employees back to work through TTE provisions will create challenges in determining liability in the event that the worker is injured while working on the job site of the third party. Such a situation could leave an injured worker incurring extensive medical bills as the companies attempt to shift liability. Since the worker is still technically employed by the lending company, however, his injuries would typically be covered under the lending company’s workers’ compensation insurance.