Job Modifications

When medical issues limit an employee’s ability to work, job modifications may be available. Job modifications include reasonable accommodations and transitional duty. Employees who are able to keep working continue earn their full rate of pay and benefits.

Reasonable accommodations

Modifications to the work environment or how the job is performed that enable the employee with medical restrictions to effectively perform the required duties of their regular job.

Transitional duty

A time-limited removal of job functions the employee is medically unable to perform. Transitional duty is available to employees whose medical restrictions are less than two months in duration. Note that this time limit does not apply to restrictions resulting during pregnancy.

There are two types of transitional duty:

  • Restricted work
    The short-term elimination of job functions the employee is unable to perform due to short-term medical restrictions
  • Alternative work
    Duties that are not part of the employee’s regular body of work. This work may be performed outside of the employee’s department. For employees with medical issues that are not covered by a workers’ compensation claim, please note that time away from an employee’s regular job is counted as short term disability. This applies to alternative work assignments (paid at 100%) as well as being off work (paid at 80%) as the wages are paid by the Human Resources Department, not the employee’s cost center.

Employees may be able to benefit from reasonable accommodations or transitional duty. Puget Sound Vocational Services is available to provide more information about the process, help identify job modification possibilities, and facilitate the necessary arrangements.

Employees are eligible for these services when temporary or permanent physical, sensory, or mental impairments substantially limit job performance. Employees are also eligible if medical documentation indicates the impairment is likely to become substantially limiting if not accommodated.

Solutions Northwest may be reached by calling the general number (425) 628-0350, via email at

Employees are encouraged to bring the following forms to their health care provider and have them faxed directly to Solutions Northwest at (360) 866-4773.