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Eckerd College
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St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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Human Resources

Human Resources

Policies and Procedures

Worker's Compensation

Effective 2/27/13

Purpose

Worker's Compensation benefits are available to all staff, faculty, volunteers, and students working at Eckerd College. The purpose behind the law is to provide medical treatment, disability leave, and replacement wages, as needed, to eligible employees in the event that they experience a work-related injury or illness. This program is administered by the Office of Human Resources.

Worker's Compensation may have interactions with other laws and/or policies such as, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Office of Human Resources insures that the provisions of these policies are met and are administered appropriately.

Employee Eligibility

  1. All employees of the College are covered under the Worker's Compensation Law of Florida upon employment.
  2. Employees need to utilize Worker's Compensation benefits when sustaining an injury or illness as a result of a job related incident.

Employee Responsibilities

  1. Observe all departmental safety rules and practices. Employee's failure to observe safety rules may result in a twenty-five percent (25%) reduction in workers' compensation benefits to the injured employee and disciplinary action.
  2. Immediately report all job-related illnesses or injuries to the supervisor or department head. Failure to report and complete the First Report of Injury or Illness form within twenty-four (24) hours of occurrence may result in denial of benefits under the Workers' Compensation Law.
  3. Maintain contact with supervisor and Human Resources regarding claim status and scheduled physician appointments.
  4. Make available to the treating physician and pharmacy a copy of the First Report of Injury or Illness form and the First Fill Prescription Form for billing purposes. Provide the workers' compensation claims adjuster with receipts for out-of-pocket expenses incurred. In no case should the employee pay the bill or submit the claim to his/her personal health insurance. If after review of the claim it is determined that the illness or injury is not covered under the Workers' Compensation Law, the employee will be responsible for payment of medical expenses and may submit the claim to his/her personal health insurance, if applicable.
  5. Request use of leave in writing when unable to return to work as a result of a work-related illness or injury. Follow departmental procedures for reporting absences to ensure receipt of benefits.

Supervisor Responsibilities

  1. All supervisors are expected to provide a safe work environment for their staff. Supervisors are to make every effort to improve communication and awareness of safety and workers' compensation issues and procedures for reporting injuries/illnesses among their staff.
  2. When a work related injury/illness occurs, supervisors are to:
    i) Offer medical treatment immediately, if necessary; an employee seeking medical attention immediately following injury, will be compensated for the remainder of his/her workday;
    ii) Report all accidents/incidents (including those which do not result in injury) to Human Resources within twenty-four (24) hours of occurrence;
    iii) Investigate the circumstances of the injury/illness that occurred;
    iv) Report promptly all problems which presented a risk for causing the injury/illness and request that they be corrected as soon as possible;
    v) Provide transitional work to the employee within the restrictions determined by the treating physician where feasible.
  3. When an employee has sustained a work-related injury and is unable to return to work, the supervisor in coordination with Human Resources will:

    Ensure that attendance and leave records are accurately maintained;
    Maintain contact with the employee for the duration of the claim;
  4. An employee released to transitional duty with restrictions, the supervisor in coordination with Human Resources will do the following:

    Review the recommended restrictions made by the treating physician;
    Make every effort to facilitate the return to work of an injured employee by ensuring every effort is made to reasonably accommodate restrictions;
    Work with the employee to determine the most effective way to carry out job tasks so as to prevent any re-injury.

Notice of Worker's Compensation

The employee and/or supervisor must notify Human Resources of the injury or illness within twenty-four hours of the incident or upon learning from a physician that the medical condition is work-related using The First Report of Injury Form. This will allow Human Resources to be in compliance with the Worker's Compensation Law.

Claim Certification

Human Resources will notify the carrier of the employee's work-related injury or illness. Upon notification the carrier will:

  • Determine the compensability of the injury or illness;
  • Provide an authorized physician;
  • Pay for all authorized medically necessary care and treatment related to the injury or illness;

    Authorized treatment and care may include:

    • Physician visits
    • Hospitalization
    • Physical therapy
    • Medical tests
    • Prescription drugs
    • Prostheses
    • Travel expenses to and from the authorized Physician.
  • An employee must receive medical treatment at least once per year to continue to maintain eligibility for worker's compensation benefits.
  • Upon reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI), the employee is required to pay a $10 co-payment per visit for medical treatment. MMI occurs when the treating physician determines that the employee's injury has healed to the extent that further improvement is not likely.

Maintaining Pay Status and Insurance Benefits

Worker's compensation benefits for lost wages will start on the eighth (8) day that the injured employee is unable to work. The injured employee will not receive wage replacement benefits for the first seven (7) days of work missed, unless he or she is out of work for more than twenty-one (21) days due to the work-related injury. The employee may use paid sick leave in order to receive pay during the first seven (7) days.

Once paid leave has been exhausted and employee is no longer in a pay status from Eckerd, employee becomes responsible for making timely payments of premiums for insurance benefits (health, dental, life, etc.). Human Resources will discuss the arrangements for payment with the employee at the onset of disability leave and confirm in writing using the Response to Request for Leave form.

In most cases, the wage-replacement benefits will equal two-thirds of the employee's pre-injury regular weekly wage, but the benefit will not be higher than Florida's average weekly wage. The injured employee will be eligible for different types of wage replacement benefits, depending on the progress of the claim and the severity of the injury.

  • Temporary Total Benefits: These benefits are provided as a result of an injury that temporarily prevents the employee from returning to work and the employee has not reached MMI.
  • Temporary Partial Benefits: These benefits are provided when the doctor releases the employee to return to work; and the employee has not reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) and earns less than 80% of the pre-injury wage. The benefit is equal to 80% of the difference between 80% of the pre-injury wage and the post-injury wage.
  • The maximum length of time the injured employee can receive temporary benefits is 104 weeks or until the date of MMI is determined, whichever is earlier.
  • Permanent Impairment Benefits: These benefits are provided when the injury causes any physical, psychological or functional loss and the impairment exists after the date of MMI. A doctor will assign a permanent impairment rating, expressed as a percentage, to the injury.
  • Permanent Total Benefits: These benefits are provided when the injury causes the employee to be permanently and totally disabled according to the conditions stated in
  • Death Benefits: The maximum benefit is $150,000 for a death resulting from a work place accident.

Definitions

  • American with Disabilities Act (ADA) - Allows employer to provide reasonable accommodations requested by all employees with documented disabilities.
  • Short Term Disability (STD) - Please refer to STD Policy (Section 4-6)
  • First Report of Injury or Illness Form - Form used to formally report an injury or illness.
  • First Fill Prescription - Form used by employees when filing a prescription at an approved pharmacy for a work-related injury or illness.
  • Transitional Duty - Accommodating any return-to-work restrictions directed by the treating physician.
  • Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) - The time in which the treating physician determines that the employee's injury has healed to the extent that further improvement is not likely.
  • Treating Physician - A physician that has been appointed/approved by the employee's claim adjuster.
  • Telecommuting - A workplace arrangement where supervisors with the approval of the appropriate Dean or Vice President agree to allow an employee to perform some or all assigned duties at home as an alternative work arrangement.