214 – Transitional Duty

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Purpose

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) will attempt to provide opportunities for injured employees to return to productive work as soon as possible. The Transitional Duty Program has been established in an effort to retain our qualified work force and to promote early return to work while supporting the employee recovering from an injury or illness. 

The program is designed to encourage the department and the employee to work cooperatively toward the goal of transitioning the employee with temporary medical restrictions back into the work environment.

Efforts will be made to assign injured employees to temporary, transitional duty if they are unable to perform their regular duties because of personal illness or occupational injury.

Transitional duty is not intended to replace an employee’s regular duties permanently, nor is transitional duty available for anything other than a temporary condition.

Personnel placed on transitional duty are not considered to be in full active duty status and shall be subject to the provisions of HCSO Policy #215 – Return to Duty After Extended Absence, upon return to their normal duty assignment.

Definitions

Medical Restrictions:  Physician specified work activities that are limited due to injury or illness.

Temporary:  Typically lasting from one to ninety days, not permanent.

Transitional Duty:  Selected assignments that take employees in stages from tasks they can perform within medical work restrictions to performing their regular job duties.

Policy

Transitional duty will be granted at 90-day intervals and not to exceed:

  1. 365 days period for occupational illness or injury, and
  2. 180 days for non-occupational illness or injury.

While on transitional duty, employees shall be required to work any shift assignment, to include overtime shifts, as directed by a supervisor, unless the treating physician orders otherwise.

Employees on transitional duty will not, either on or off-duty, wear any portion of their Sheriff’s Office issued uniform.  Employees in plain clothes will not display their badge or weapon.

Employees on transitional duty will not be permitted to work law enforcement related extra employment, including but not limited to, apartment security.

Procedure

The employee must submit a Transitional Duty Request to the Human Resources Division accompanied by his or her medical provider’s temporary release with restrictions. Human Resources will:

  1. Assist in the implementation of establishing temporary transitional duty assignments with specific unit/bureau commanders.
  2. Collaborate with the appropriate medical provider in an effort to identify work restrictions.
  3. Monitor and track all temporary transitional duty assignments.
  4. Develop annual report on utilization of the Temporary Transitional Duty Programs.

Assignments are determined based upon the individual’s work restrictions, the skills of the employee, and the needs of the department.

NOTE: As medical restrictions change, the temporary transitional duty assignment may also change.

Not less than one week prior to each 90-day period, the employee must request an extension by submitting a new Transitional Duty Request to Human Resources.

NOTE: The new request must include a physician’s statement which indicates if the employee is making medical improvements and or the need for continuation of medical restrictions.

If, after a one-year period of Temporary Transitional Duty assignment, the employee cannot return to his or her permanent job assignment, alternate job assignments (e.g., civilian status) may be offered depending on the availability of such a position.

Employees are cautioned that a demonstrated inability to perform the requirements of their position may also result in an assessment of their eligibility for continued employment.

Nothing in this policy is intended to conflict with return to duty after extended absence (refer to HCSO Department Policy #215 – Return to Duty After Extended Absence).

Revision

This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:

April 21, 2009

March 9, 2011

February 15, 2019

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