Changes to Norfolk Southern Return to Work Medical Policy: November 6, 2012
TO ALL NORFOLK SOUTHERN EMPLOYEES:
In order to improve the Norfolk Southern Medical Department’s return to work process and expedite your safe and timely return to work from an absence, effective November 12, 2012, the medical policy requiring return-to-work physical examinations by a company-designated physician following any medical or non-medical absence of greater than 90 days for employees holding safety-sensitive and/or physically demanding positions, and greater than one year for employees holding sedentary and/or non safety-sensitive positions, is being eliminated. The new return to work process effective November 12th 2012 is described below:
RETURN TO WORK FROM A MEDICAL ABSENCE:
The Medical Department will continue to evaluate the fitness for service of those employees who are returning from a medical absence and have been released to work by their health care provider to ensure their ability to safely perform their essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodations, with respect to their medical condition(s). As part of this process, the NSMD may request that you have your health care provider furnish medical records or reports pertaining to the medical condition(s) which prompted the absence, and/or undergo further evaluation such as a functional capacity evaluation (FCE), medical specialty evaluation (MSE), field test or work simulation.
The Medical Department understands that you may face a number of challenges while off work medically, and we are committed to expediting this process by rendering timely fitness for duty decisions that enable your safe and prompt return to work. You can assist with this process by ensuring that your doctor(s) provides the requested information as quickly as possible.
RETURN TO WORK FROM A NON-MEDICAL ABSENCE OF 1 YEAR OR LONGER:
If you are returning to work following a non-medical absence of one year or longer, such as leave of absence, furlough, military leave, discipline, etc., a Health Questionnaire must be completed and returned to Medical for review and approval. You can access an interactive version of the Health Questionnaire on the ERC (go to “Employee Self Service”, click on the “Medical Information” link, then in the “Medical” menu under “Policy”, click on “Health Questionnaire”). This interactive version is also available outside the NS network (e.g., from a home computer) at www.nscorp.com (click on “Employees”, then click on the “Medical” tab under which the questionnaire is located) or by clicking on the following link: Click here. Alternatively, you can obtain the Health Questionnaire from your supervisor.
Depending upon the responses noted in the Health Questionnaire, additional medical information and/or evaluations may need to be furnished to enable a timely and appropriate fitness for duty determination.
RETURN TO WORK FROM A NON-MEDICAL ABSENCE OF LESS THAN 1 YEAR: (see Return to Work Information Sheet)
Unless there are fitness for service issues, no medical information or evaluation is necessary if you are returning from a non-medical absence of less than one year.
Once a fitness for duty determination has been made regarding your return to work after a medical or non-medical absence, the Medical Department will promptly notify your supervisor or appropriate administrative personnel of your work status.
Any questions related to this new Return to Work policy and process should be directed to the Medical Department at (800) 552-2306. The Medical Department, of course, reserves the right to modify this policy and process at any time in the future.
While you may not need this information now, should the need arise, there are a number of Medical Department resources available to assist you with a prompt return to service and help expedite your fitness for duty determination. Here are a few of them:
CLINICAL TEAM SUPPORT – DIRECT CONTACT INFORMATION FOR YOUR CLINICAL TEAM ASSISTANT (see flyer)
If you are off work medically and have any questions about the return to work process, your first step should be to contact your clinical team assistant in the Medical Department. The clinical team’s assistants are assigned cases based on the type of inquiry and the first initial of the employee’s last name. The attached flyer provides you with direct contact information of the clinical team assistant who can best help you with your questions. The flyer also provides you with the best fax number to use when faxing requested records or information to the Medical Department, as well as other available resources. A printable, 8 X 10 version of this flyer is available on the ERC (go to “Employee Self Service”, click on the “Medical Information” link, then in the “Medical” menu under “Contact Information”, click on “Clinical Team – Direct Contacts”) or outside the NS network (e.g., from a home computer) at the following link: Click here
METHODS FOR PROVIDING THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT YOUR REQUESTED RECORDS OR INFORMATION:
You have several different ways to provide the Medical Department with requested medical records or information. The preferred way is to fax the records directly to your clinical team assistant’s fax number (see attached flyer). This method will best ensure your assistant’s timely receipt of your records. Another method is to email your records to firstname.lastname@example.org. This email box is monitored frequently. When using this email box, please be sure to include your full name (including middle initial), EIN, and a contact phone number. Alternatively, you can mail your records to the NS Medical Department at Three Commercial Place, Norfolk, VA 23510-9202, or fax them to toll-free fax number 1-866-627-0592.
GENERAL RETURN TO WORK INFORMATION SHEET (click here PDF)
You can access the ERC for general return to work information, such as general medical documentation requirements, and general return to work procedures and/or requirements for specific conditions. To locate this information on the ERC, go to “Employee Self Service”, click on the “Medical Information” link, then in the “Medical” menu under “Policy”, click on “Return to Work Information Sheet”. This Return to Work Information sheet can also be accessed outside the NS network at www.nscorp.com (click on “Employees”, then click on the “Medical” tab under which the information sheet is located). If you have limited computer access, similar information can be obtained by calling the NSMD Information Line at (877) 737-0746.
WHERE TO GET NS MEDICAL DEPARTMENT FORMS AND DOCUMENTS (Obtaining Forms, click here PDF)
You may find this summary helpful in locating the various forms and documents described above and in the Return to Work Information Sheet.
Our goal is to ensure your health and safety at work, and in the event you are off work medically, to ensure your safe and timely return to work, and do so in a way that helps lessen the frustrations you may face when off work. We believe that the return to work policy and process changes and employee resources described above help us with this goal. These efforts are part of a SPIRIT Culture Change initiative in the Medical Department that you will hear more about in the coming months. This is a work in progress and we remain committed to finding ways to further improve our services to our most important customer, you.
C. Ray Prible
Medical Director, Human Resources, Norfolk Southern
3 Commercial Place
Norfolk, VA 23510
(Updated April 16, 2015)