1. GENERAL. The Permanent Modified Work Program provides alternative job opportunities for County employees who are permanently precluded from returning to their usual and customary occupations by disabling illnesses or injuries. Disabilities may be of either industrial or non—industrial origin. For a non—industrial disability, the employee must have been permanently employed by the County at least 3 years to qualify for this modified work program. Industrially injured employees are employees whose cases have been accepted as compensable by either the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board or the County Claims Administrator. They should also meet the qualifications of a qualified injured worker as defined by Section 139.5 of the California Labor Code.
  2. OBJECTIVES. The objectives of the Permanent Modified Work Program are to:
    1. Provide job opportunities for qualified County employees who become disabled.
    2. Minimize the loss of valuable human resources to the County and reduce disability costs.
  3. POLICY. It is the Policy of San Mateo County to retain qualified disabled County employees in its work force by vocational training and placement services which prepare them for alternative jobs.
  4. PLACEMENT CONSIDERATIONS. Appropriate job placements for disabled employees are determined by the Risk Management Division in coordination with the Personnel Division, County management, the District Attorney’s Office, the Retirement Board Administrator and the departments involved. The placement process includes a thorough evaluation of the disabled employee’s work history, interests, pay level and qualifications. This is done through testing and evaluation by a professional vocational rehabilitation counselor and with the approval of the treating physician.
  5. PLACEMENT TRAINING. Placement into a department is usually made with the understanding that the employee is a trainee and that the gaining department will absorb the employee onto their budget within one year. The training period will depend on the complexity of the position and the employee’s capabilities. The gaining department should pick up the employee onto their budget as soon as a regular ordinance position becomes available and the employee is working out to the satisfaction of the department. Pending appointment to a regular position within a gaining department, disabled employees are carried on the Risk Management budget.
  6. RESPONSIBILITIES. Responsibilities for the Permanent Modified Work Program are as follows:
    1. Gaining Department.
      1. Provide a work station and the necessary equipment and supplies.
      2. Provide on—the—job training.
      3. Provide monitoring and evaluation of the employee.
      4. Allow the employee time off as needed for formal outside training for the position.
      5. Provide feedback to Risk Management on the employee’s progress.
      6. when the employee is trained, appoint the employee to the first available regular ordinance position.
    2. Employee.
      1. Undertake the training program provided.
      2. Make every effort to learn the duties and master the skills required by the new position.
      3. Alert the gaining department and Risk Management to any problems encountered in meeting the demands or requirements of the new position.
      4. When trained and a position becomes available, to accept an appointment within the gaining department under the departmental management.
      5. If industrial, to satisfactorily complete the concurred upon rehabilitation plan.
    3. Risk Management Division.
      1. Affect appropriate placement for the employee.
      2. Fund salary and other training expenses until appointment to a regular ordinance position is made.
      3. Through monitoring, determine that placement is appropriate.
      4. If placement appears inappropriate, transfer the employee to a more appropriate position.
      5. Inform the employee of all rights and benefits due him or her under the program.
  7. ADMITTANCE. A request for an evaluation for admittance into the Permanent Modified Work Program may be made by either the employee or the department in which the employee is assigned. Final determination of acceptance into the program is made by Risk Management. For cases involving industrial injuries or illnesses, admittance into the Modified Work Program is made only after approval of a formal vocational rehabilitation plan (Form HB—2).

Suggestions for changes to this procedure should be forwarded in writing to Risk Management, Pony HRD163.