Returning to Work

After an injury or illness, returning to work safely and promptly can help in your recovery. It can also help you avoid financial losses from being off work.


When to Return

After you are hurt on the job, several people will work with you to decide when you are ready to return to work and what work you will do. These people include:

  • Your primary treating doctor

  • Your employer (supervisors or other in management)

  • Your claims administrator

  • Your attorney, if you have one

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Staying in Touch

It is important that everyone stay in close contact throughout the claim process. You should actively communicate with your treating doctor, your employer and the claims administrator about:

  • The work you did before you were injured

  • Your medical condition and the kinds of work you can do now

  • The kinds of work your employer could make available to you or whether your job duties can be changed during your recovery.


Employers have a legal obligation as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Fair Employment Housing Authority (FEHA) to make every effort to provide a reasonable accommodation as soon as you are stable enough to perform what is considered the “essential functions” of your job. You may require job modifications in order to return to work. You, and your employer, should be discussing the return to work decision making process.

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Designed to address important safety related topics common in a K-12 environment.

Transitional Return to Work

For more information please read our Employee’s Guide to Transitional Return to Work and Helping Inured Employee’s Return to Work a publication prepared by the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California at Berkley, for the California Commission on Health Safety and Workers’ Compensation. Learn more from the Department of Industrial Relations guidebook, Chapter 6: Working for Your Employer After Injury


If you have questions regarding your ability to return to work contact your employer and/or your claims examiner.

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