UPDATED: U.S. Department of Labor Announces ‘Protecting Employees, Enabling Reemployment’ Initiative to Improve Federal Workplace Safety and Health
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today published a memorandum announcing the creation of the Protecting Employees, Enabling Reemployment (PEER) Initiative. The Initiative serves as an opportunity for agencies to recommit to a safety and health-conscious federal workforce that can receive needed timely benefits through a modern and efficient workers’ compensation system.
The PEER Initiative supports the President’s Management Agenda – Modernizing Government for the 21st Century, as well as the President’s initiative to stop opioid abuse and reduce drug supply and demand.
The Initiative outlines seven areas to help federal agencies and the U.S. Postal Service improve or maintain performance:
- Reducing total injury and illness case rates;
- Reducing lost-time injury and illness case rates;
- Increasing the timely filing rate for workers’ compensation claims;
- Increasing the timely filing rate for wage-loss claims;
- Increasing the rate of return-to-work outcomes during the initial 45 day post-injury period for traumatic injury cases;
- Improving the rate at which employees return to work in cases of moderate to severe injury or illness; and
- Implementing and fully using the department’s electronic filing system, the Employees’ Compensation Operations and Management Portal (ECOMP) by Sept. 30, 2020.
ECOMP is the department’s self-service web portal that allows federal workers injured on the job to easily initiate a claim and route it to their supervisor for eventual submission to the department. The ECOMP service will create a standard, taxpayer-efficient experience for all injured federal employees to use instead of agencies funding their own claims systems, or continuing the cumbersome practice of faxing or mailing paper documents. In addition, the ECOMP allows critical immediate communication with injured workers about opioid and pain management education.
The Secretary of Labor’s memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies, with more detail on the targets for each agency, will be published in an upcoming edition of the Federal Register. The department’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will host a meeting to outline how each goal is measured and how to improve performance. Learn more about these efforts.
Editor’s Note: This release has been updated regarding publication of the memo in the Federal Register.