The formal modified duty job offer process

As an employer in the state of Colorado, you can offer modified duty work to an injured worker at any time. Rule 6 ((6-1) (A) (3) (4)) allows Pinnacol Assurance to modify, terminate or suspend temporary total disability benefits without a formal hearing process through the offer of modified duty. There are two ways to offer modified duty work:

  • Verbal (informal) modified duty 
  • Written (formal) modified duty 

A verbal offer of modified duty is simple, fast and flexible. A formal offer of modified duty establishes a more structured approach, and involves physician approval of modified duty tasks and a written job offer.  

Verbal offers

  • Employer offers modified duty, believed to be within injured worker's restrictions, directly to the injured worker
  • Start date is determined by mutual agreement
  • Documentation is through completing a return to work document once the injured worker has returned, and also involves providing ongoing wage records to the claim representative
  • There is no protection for the employer should the injured worker not accept, or miss time unrelated to the claim

Formal offers

  • Follow Rule 6 procedures (described below)
  • Defined start date
  • Employer is protected to the extent of the job offer; if the injured worker does not accept or misses time unrelated to the claim, lost wage benefits will not compensate for that missed time

Formal modified duty process

Step one:

Write the task letter. The task letter should define (and note physical capacities required to perform) each task that the employer is offering to the injured worker. The task letter must include hours per day and number of days per week that the injured worker will perform work. The task letter should be addressed to an authorized treating physician with a ‘CC’ to the injured worker and the injured worker's attorney (if applicable).

Remember
The task letter must be approved, signed and dated by a licensed treating physician. The licensed physician must cosign signatures from a physician's assistant or nurse practitioner.

Step two:

A copy of the task letter must be delivered to all parties — physician, injured worker and the injured worker's attorney (if applicable) — in the same manner and on the same day.

Step three:

The task letter must be approved, signed and dated by a licensed authorized treating physician. The licensed physician must cosign signatures from a physician's assistant or nurse practitioner. Once the licensed physician approves the task letter, the next step in completing a formal job process is writing the formal job offer addressed to the injured worker. Job offers can be hand-delivered or mailed to the injured worker.

Once you've decided on a delivery method, follow the corresponding steps below.

Hand-delivered letters 

Type up the formal job offer letter:

  • Download hand-delivered job offer template
  • Letter should be written on company letterhead. Be sure the letter is filled out completely.
  • The letter must be signed, dated and delivered at least three business days before the injured worker's start date 

Make copies of the signed task letter and job offer letter:

  • Be sure the task letter includes the physician's signature
  • Double check that you have signed the job offer letter

Hand-deliver copies of the two letters: 

  • Hand-deliver it to the injured worker
  • If the injured worker is represented by an attorney, you must deliver a copy of the job offer letter and signed task letter to the attorney's office on the same day you delivered it to the injured worker

Recordkeeping:

  • Keep a copy of each letter for your files
  • Be sure to fax or email a copy of each letter to your return to work consultant

Mailed letters

Type up the formal job offer letter:

  • Download the mailed job offer template
  • Letter should be written on company letterhead
  • Be sure the letter is filled out completely
  • The letter must be signed, dated and mailed at least seven business days before the injured worker's start date (if the injured worker lives out of state, it must be mailed 10 business days before start date)

Make copies of the signed task letter and job offer letter:

  • Be sure the task letter includes the physician's signature and date
  • Double check that you have signed the job offer letter

Mail copies of the two letters: 

  • Using both certified and regular mail, send a copy of the signed task list and job offer to the injured worker
  • If the injured worker is represented by an attorney, send copies of both letters using certified mail

Recordkeeping:

  • Keep a copy of each letter for your files
  • Be sure to fax or email one copy of each letter to your return to work consultant
  • Include a copy of the receipt for purchase of the certified letter and the green return receipt