Return to work State laws

Employee return-to-work enrollment mandated under new Hawaii law

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Honolulu – Injured public employees in Hawaii must complete a return-to-work program before receiving vocational rehabilitation benefits, under a new state law.

Gov. David Ige (D) signed the legislation into law on June 26. In addition to barring the benefits from eligible employees who do not participate in their employer’s RTW program, the law does not provide vocational rehabilitation benefits to public employees who have retired from the workplace where they were injured.

Returning employees to work as soon as possible helps save costs, according to the act, which is intended to coordinate efficient use of RTW programs. Under employer RTW programs, injured workers could receive temporary light-duty placements.

The act went into effect July 1.