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New Rules for Supervisors: Reporting Work-Related Injuries and Helping Employees Return to Work

UT Policies

In the event of a work-related injury or illness, all employees—especially supervisors—should be aware of changes to UT’s workers’ compensation policy and new requirements for helping employees return to work as quickly as possible.

As always, employees who sustain life-threatening or serious workplace injuries should call 911 and seek treatment at the nearest emergency room.

For all other work-related injuries, illnesses or hazards, employees must immediately notify their supervisors, even if medical treatment is not initially thought to be necessary.

In accordance with HR policy 0397, supervisors must immediately:

  1. Assist the injured or ill employee in contacting the 24/7 Workplace Injury Call Center at 1-866-245-8588 (Option 1) to speak with a registered nurse and report the injury or illness to CorVel, the state of Tennessee’s third-party administrator of workers’ compensation benefits
  2. Make a separate, follow-up call to CorVel at 1-866-245-8588 (Option 2) to complete a claim for medical treatment or to confirm that there will be no medical treatment
  3. Submit a report to UT’s Office of Risk Management


Effective July 1, failure on the part of the supervisor to complete the follow-up call to CorVel within seven calendar days of receiving notice from the employee, will result in a $1,000 fine by the State of Tennessee.  UT departments will be responsible for any such charges.

If an injured employee is released to return to work under restrictions, the department must arrange temporary, transitional duties until the employee is fully released. If transitional duty is not provided, the State of Tennessee will hold the University responsible for 50 percent of the disability benefits paid to the employee. Again, UT departments will be responsible for any such charges.

The state is imposing these fines to encourage prompt reporting and expedite the treatment process for employees. The state also wants to ensure employees are supported in returning to work as soon as they are able.

A new policy, HR Policy 0398, has been adopted to explain UT’s transitional return-to-work program. In summary:

  • If there are no restrictions, or if the restrictions do not affect the employee’s ability to return to full duty, the employee may return to work immediately
  • An employee with restrictions must provide his or her supervisor with return-to-work restrictions signed by the employee’s approved workers’ compensation doctor
  • Upon receipt of the doctor’s list of restrictions, the employing department will have 14 days to develop a transitional duty plan and return the employee to work
  • The supervisor will consult with appropriate campus Human Resources officers and Risk Management to create a transitional duty plan

Employees are encouraged to read both policies in their entirety and contact UT’s Office of Risk Management at 865-974-5409 with questions.


UT Office of Risk Management

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