0415.00 Return to Work Policy

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
Policy number
On this page

*This directive is currently under review*



  • City Administrative Rule 7.08 Injured Employee Return to Work
  • DIR 414.00 Pregnancy
  • ORS 659A.043
  • ORS 659A.046


1.1. The Bureau recognizes modified duty assignments create a mutual benefit to both the Bureau and the member by providing the member with the ability to continue working while also providing the Bureau with a productive employee during the interim period.


2.1. MODIFIED DUTY ASSIGNMENT: a work assignment not requiring performance of the full range of duties associated with a member's regular job classification.


3.1. The Bureau will make reasonable efforts to establish modified duty assignments to allow members to return to work during an interim period when they are temporarily unable to perform the duties associated with their job classification due to illness, injury, or pregnancy. Additionally, the Bureau may identify a limited number of modified duty assignments for members whose restrictions are of a more permanent nature and prevent them from performing the duties associated with their regular job classification.

3.2. The designation of modified duty assignments is discretionary and the designation may be reverted at any time to full duty assignments. The allocation will be determined based on the operational and business needs of the Bureau, including the need to provide efficient and effective public safety services, as well as budget and staffing requirements.


4.1. Requests for a modified-duty assignment may be made by any member who has incurred a short-term disability or whose restrictions are of a permanent nature and prevent the member from performing the duties of their regular job classification, and the disability and/or restrictions are a result of either a service or non-service connected incident.

4.2. Requests should be made through channels and in writing to the member’s RU Manager.

4.3. The RU Manager will forward the request to the Personnel Division Manager who will evaluate the request and determine if a modified duty assignment is within the member's job analysis limitations as determined by a qualified medical professional, and available in accordance with the staffing guidelines outlined in the Personnel Division's Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).


5.1. The Personnel Division is responsible for maintaining an SOP outlining the procedure for allotment of modified duty positions, ensuring that it establishes procedures and guidelines that meet the Bureau's current operational and business needs. The SOP will be regularly maintained to ensure adherence to any Bureau obligations established under state law, city administrative rules, FPDR guidelines, collective bargaining agreements, or any other applicable city policies.


6.1. Probationary members who are assigned to a temporary modified duty assignment will have their probation extended by a period of time equal to the member's assignment to modified duty.


7.1. Member Responsibilities

7.1.1. Members assigned to a modified duty assignment will notify their immediate supervisor, as well as the FPDR Liaison if they are assigned to a unit other than the Personnel Division's Operation Support Unit (OSU), of any change in their condition that modifies the original medical release.

7.1.2. Members receiving disability benefits from FPDR or Workers' Compensation payments are expected to inform FPDR or Risk Management of any changes in their condition.

7.1.3. Members assigned to a modified duty assignment are expected to meet the conduct and performance expectations of the assignment.

7.1.4. Members who are considering refusing a modified duty assignment that is within their restrictions should consider the potential consequences of a refusal. Refusal could subject the member to disciplinary action and ineligibility for disability benefits. Disability benefits or workers' compensation payment decisions are solely within FPDR's or Risk Management's decision making authority.

7.2. Supervisors Responsibilities

7.2.1. Supervisors will forward requests for modified duty assignments through channels.

7.3. Personnel Division Responsibilities

7.3.1. Personnel Division will maintain an SOP outlining the modified-duty procedures.

7.3.2. All members working under a modified duty contract will initially report to the OSU Sergeant and submit all FPDR related paperwork to the OSU Sergeant until they are released to full duty or the contract ends.

7.3.3. The OSU Sergeant will coordinate the temporary assignment of modified duty members to other Reporting Units upon request by an RU.

7.4. RU Managers Responsibilities

7.4.1. RU managers will ensure that all members who are released to modified duty complete the proper paperwork, including FPDR or FMLA forms if applicable.

7.4.2. In all cases, RU managers will ensure that all members who are in a modified duty assignment for more than 14 days are placed on a modified duty contract.

7.4.3. If a member is reassigned to OSU under a temporary off street assignment contract, it remains the RU manager's responsibility to develop and implement a plan to improve the member's performance.

7.4.4. If a member is reassigned to OSU and working under a written performance improvement plan, the RU manager responsible for that plan will provide the OSU Sergeant with a copy of the plan so the OSU Sergeant may coordinate the member's compliance with the plan while they are assigned to OSU.


8.1. Any member on a modified duty assignment released to full duty must submit a release from a qualified medical professional. A member who is on service connected disability, non-service connected disability or workers' compensation is expected to comply with FPDR or Risk Management requirements, if applicable.

8.2. Members will notify the OSU Sergeant and the FPDR Liaison immediately when they are released to return to full duty.

8.3. The Bureau may require an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) or Fitness for Duty Evaluation (FDE) prior to the member's return.


9.1. The Bureau has the authority to require an IME or FDE of a member at any time by a qualified medical professional of the Bureau's choosing and at the Bureau's expense. For members being considered for a modified duty assignment, the Personnel Division, in consultation with the Bureau, is also authorized to require an examination.

9.2. The availability of a modified duty assignment does not affect a member's eligibility for a leave of absence for an injury or illness that is sustained in the line of duty or any other form of leave that the member may be eligible for under City Administrative Rules and state or federal law (i.e. Family and Medical Leave Act).

9.3. A member who is in a modified duty assignment for medical reasons is not prohibited from applying for promotion through the regular City civil service process. A member who is otherwise qualified may be eligible for promotion if:

9.3.1. The member is able to perform the essential functions of the assignment and;

9.3.2. The member is released to perform the essential functions by an appropriate medical professional prior to the effective date of the promotion and;

9.3.3. The available assignment is in the rank in which the promotional vacancy exists.

9.4. This program shall not be construed as recognition by the City of Portland, the Portland City Council, City management, or City employees or agents, that any employee who participates in the program is a qualified individual with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 or state law.

9.5. If an employee sustains an injury or illness that results in a disability under the ADA, it is the employee's responsibility to inform his or her supervisor, the Bureau's Personnel Manager, or a person in a responsible management position, that the member believes a disability under the ADA exists, and reasonable accommodation is necessary to perform the essential functions of his or her job . The City ADA process and forms are required and can be found on line at the City's website.


10.1. Established: November, 2007

10.2. Revision #1: 04/29/13

10.3. Next Review Date: 04/29/15

Search Code, Charter, Policy