It's important to know that not all injuries and illnesses that happen at work are covered under workers' compensation. Each incident report is evaluated to determine whether workers' compensation can be provided to an injured employee or whether other forms of income replacement and/or health insurance are more appropriate. This evaluation is completed by one of the staff members within the Office of Risk Management who is available to answer your questions regarding an eligibility determination for your employee. The information below is applicable when the injury is one that is covered under workers' compensation.
First, you or your employee must submit a Strategic Tracking Employee Pay System (STEPS) Form form to the Office of Risk Management as verification that their treating physician has taken them off work due to their work related injury. The first seven calendar days are a "waiting period" and are not paid by workers' compensation; however, Southern Methodist University does not want to see an employee do without wages so they are paid under a WC1 code which logs normal hours/pay (this is the code you as the supervisor would use on timecards or in Kronos and will be submitted to you on a STEPS form from the Risk Management Specialist). After your employee is out of work for seven calendar days due to the injury, the Workers' Compensation Carrier will provide a weekly payment directly to them. As the supervisor, you would code any time past the seven calendar days AS WC2 (this is the code you as the supervisor would use on timecards or in Kronos and will be submitted to you on a STEPS form from the Risk Management Specialist). The weekly amount paid by the carrier to the injured employee is generally 70% of their average weekly wage up to the 2010 (10/1/09 thru 9/30/10) maximum of $773 per week.
If they make less than $8.50/hr then they are paid at 75% of their average weekly wages with the same maximum amount per week. No taxes or deductions are taken from this weekly check, so it is important that they continue to make any voluntary deductions (e.g. your usual health, retirement or dental plan premium) directly to Human Resources/Benefits so that their participation in these plans continues. Please advise them to contact the SMU Department of Human Resources at 214-768-3311 with any questions they may have regarding their SMU benefit plans.
Please ask them to see a Benefits Specialist in the SMU Department of Human Resources for information about how a Workers' Compensation absence can affect their benefits.
Yes, your employee can use accrued vacation or sick time while they are out on a work related injury to make up the difference in their pay during any missed time. They may not use a full day of sick/vacation pay each day they are out as this will result in payments of more than what they would have made if they were able to work and may result in their owing the University money. Please ask them to speak with you as their supervisor about coding this time on their timecard; the Office of Risk Management is available to help you with this calculation as needed.
Only for as long as a doctor has removed them from work due to their work related injury.
Managers take the lead role in maintaining direct contact with their employee about where they are in the healing process and communicating the continued need for that employee to provide the most current work status information from their treating physician. You are strongly encouraged to establish a weekly follow up day/time to call your employee and speak with him or her directly about their medical progress. Occasionally, this information may come from the Office of Risk Management if the injured employee maintains ongoing communications with the Risk Management Specialist.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) runs concurrent with the first missed day of work due to the on-the-job injury. FMLA requires that you hold the job for your "eligible employees" for at least twelve weeks. Eligible employee here means one that meets the FMLA requirements (e.g. one year of service at Southern Methodist University). You may choose to fill the position after the twelve week period; however, it is highly recommended you go through the Human Resources department to ensure compliance with all Local/State/Federal laws.
For more information about FMLA, please see the Benefits Specialist in the SMU Department of Human Resources.
You will want to talk with the Benefits Specialist in the SMU Department of Human Resources to ensure they understand your employee is on a workers' compensation leave and is not anticipated to return in the near future. You should also coordinate with the SMU Department of Human Resources for posting and to ensure you are in compliance with all local, state and federal laws.