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Return to Work from Extended Illness or Injury

Employees returning to work following a potentially disabling injury, major surgical procedure, or after an absence of five (5) or more consecutive days due to illness or injury shall follow procedures outlined in this procedural directive.


For purposes of this procedural directive,  “potentially disabling injury” means an injury, that prevents an employee from performing the essential functions of his/her job, with or without reasonable accommodation on a long-term basis.

For purposes of this procedural directive, “limited duty” means a temporary assigned responsibility within the current medically documented physical limitations of the employee. A limited duty assignment shall not extend past ninety (90) calendar days.  Albuquerque Public Schools shall make limited duty assignments wherever a need exists within the district.

Returning To Work from Non-work Related Injury or Illness

For non-work related injuries, illness or surgical procedures:

  • The employee shall report to the leaves specialist in Human Resources.
  • The employee shall bring the Return to Work Certificate form completed and signed by his/her treating health care provider.
    • If there are no physical limitations, the employee shall be reinstated immediately.
  • If there are physical limitations/restrictions, the employee shall bring the Return to Work Certificate signed by the immediate supervisor to the leaves specialist.
    • The leave specialist shall contact the appropriate staffing consultant for approval of Return to Work agreement.
    • Temporary restrictions must be for ninety (90) calendar days or less.
  • Once the temporary restrictions are lifted, the employee shall bring another Return to Work Certificate to Human Resources for final clearance prior to the ninety (90) day conclusion.
  • If the restrictions are permanent, the employee shall return to Human Resources to determine if accommodations can be made with or without an Americans with Disability Act (ADA) plan.  If the employee wishes to request an ADA plan, then he/she shall go to the Equal Opportunity Services Department (EOS) to make the request.  During the ninety (90) day calendar period, the employee may work with the temporary restrictions until Equal Opportunity Services determines if the employee qualifies for an ADA accommodation.

In determining eligibility of an employee to return to work, the district shall reserve the right to refer to other health care providers for an independent medical evaluation.

In the event of conflicting medical recommendations, Albuquerque Public Schools occupational health physicians shall make the final decision regarding an employee’s return to work.

Returning to Work after a Work-Related Injury or Illness

Please see the “Reporting-on-the-Job Injuries” procedural directive for more information regarding returning to work after an on-the-job injury.

Administrative Position: Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources

Department Director: Director of Equal Opportunity Services/Director of Risk Management/Executive Director of Staffing and Employee Relations


Legal Cross Ref.:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act

Board Policy Cross Ref.:

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:


NSBA/NEPN Classification: GB

Approved: Nov. 22, 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997
Revised: January, 2002
Revised: February 2005
Revised: March 2005
Revised: October 2005
Revised: November 2007
Reviewed: August 26, 2011
Revised: October 21, 2011