Chapter 102 of the Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act requires the University to provide Workers Compensation coverage for employees who are injured by accident or who develop an illness which arises out of and is in the course of their employment.
All full-time, part-time, temporary and student employees on the University payroll are eligible to receive Workers Compensation benefits should they suffer an occupational injury/illness.
The responsibilities of each department shall be as follows:
The responsibility of each employee shall be as follows:
Medical bills are compensable under the Act for claims due to work-related injury. When the injured employee receives hospital or medical bills for treatment due to a work-related incident, they should send them to the Office of Risk Management or to the claim representative, if assigned.
Lost time benefits are also available under the state law when an employee has been off work after a three-day waiting period. After seven days, the waiting period is paid and sick leave, if used, can be restored. Lost time benefits are calculated subject to maximum weekly benefit. In general, benefits include two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly wage based on a six-day week. Benefit levels are set by the State and are reviewed and modified every two years through an advisory council.
Lost time benefits, called temporary total disability or TTD, are paid directly to the employee. In addition, payroll may continue for a disabled support staff employee to the extent that accumulated sick leave may be applied. Payroll for disabled faculty and administrators will continue in accordance with the provisions or the short-term disability program, if available.
It is the employee’s responsibility to notify their department timekeeper on how they wish to use vacation or sick pay and how their timesheet should be completed when receiving Workers Compensation benefits. Coordination of payroll, sick leave, disability benefits and workers compensation payments assures that an injured employee receives as much compensation as possible when unable to work, yet no more that what would be received, if no injury occurred. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to immediately inform the Office of Risk Management when the employee returns to duty.
Failure to report an accident within 48 hours may result in a delay or denial of compensation.
In the case of Workers Compensation injuries to employees, it is against the Wisconsin Statue 102, Workers Compensation, and Administrative Code to penalize another benefit that is accrued to an injured employee. An exception to this policy for “use of vacation time” may have to be made in select circumstances.
The first example is when an employee has accrued vacation time and is injured before the can use it, providing the injury is compensable and the employee is off work on temporary total disability. While the employee is off work and collecting Workers Compensation benefits, their vacation cannot be taken away since they are unable to use it without losing their Workers Compensation benefits.
The second situation is when an injured employee is on a return-to-work program where they may work part of a day and collect the remainder’s day pay from Workers Compensation Temporary Total Disability. They may also accrue additional vacation time for the time at work, but they cannot use vacation pay while on a return-to-work program without losing Workers Compensation benefits. To lose accumulated vacation in these circumstances would be penalizing another employee benefit. These types of situations should occur infrequently, and hopefully can be accommodated by exception.
An injured employee must return to work as soon as he/she is released to duty by the treating physician. A medical release from the physician will be required of any employee returning to work. Supervisors shall not allow any employee to return to work without the proper release or prior to the release date. The supervisor will also forward a copy of the release to the Office of Risk Management and the Human Resources Department within 48 hours of the employee’s return to work.
Temporary Light Duty
Employees who are temporarily unable to return to regular duties may be placed in light-duty positions compatible with their physical restrictions. Every effort will be made to place employees in light-duty positions within their own department/division, by modification of the regular position or reassignment to another position. If there is not a position available within the department/division, the Office of Risk Management will request the department and the Department of Human Resources to identify compatible positions outside the department.
Prior to placement, a job description of the targeted job will be developed by the responsible supervisor based on physical restrictions as outlined in the Medical Status Report. The job description will be sent for approval by the treating physician. The employee will be notified regarding a return-to-work date. Failure to return to light-duty work, when offered, may jeopardize continued Workers Compensation benefits.
All placement efforts will be coordinated by the Office of Risk Management with the Department of Human Resources and the appropriate department.
If a position is not available within the University, vocational placement assistance will be provided by an independent vocational counselor, who will assist in actual job placement in compliance with the Workers Compensation Act.
Failure of any employee to report an accident within 24 hours may result in a denial of injury leave.
Failure to report an accident, as required by law, may jeopardize eligibility for Workers Compensation benefit. Supervisors should ensure that all employee occupational injuries/illnesses are reported within 48 hours after the notice is received from the employee. Supervisors should not attempt to decide whether an injury or illness is covered by Workers Compensation. This responsibility rests with the Office of Risk Management.
Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act states that in order to be eligible for Workers Compensation benefits, an employee must prove that their injury or illness was caused by their employment.
If the University determines that a claim did not arise out of and was not in the course of employment, a written statement will be sent to the employee, the Department Head stating the reason for denial and appeal procedure as required by the Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act.
Wages are compensated in accordance with Wisconsin Statute 102 at two-thirds of the injured employee’s wage at the time of injury (subject to a legislated weekly maximum). An employee may, but is not required to, use their accrued sick time for the remaining one-third pay.
Employees should inform their time keepers if they wish to use accrued leave time when on workers compensation.
The employee is required to present to the supervisor, a doctor’s release to work, outlining any restrictions, if applicable, that affect the employee’s ability to perform work duties. The employee’s supervisor must send the release to the Office of Risk Management and inform the offices of Risk Management and Human Resources of the date of return and the total scheduled workdays missed. If work restrictions continue, a physician’s restriction notice must be presented to the supervisor and sent to the Office of Risk Management. Similarly, when the employee is released from work restrictions, contact the Office of Risk Management and send them the restriction release.
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