All College employees are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. The College is licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a self-insurer for workers’ compensation. All employees should immediately report on-the-job injuries to their supervisor and complete the Employee Accident Reporting Form (Writeable PDF). The completed Accident Reporting and Treatment Form must be sent to the Benefits Office in order to give appropriate notice to the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents and the college’s workers’ compensation third party administrator. Supervisors are required to complete the Supervisor’s Accident Investigation Report (Writeable PDF) for all reported on-the-job injuries immediately following an incident.
Paid Leave While Away From Work for Workers’ Compensation Claims
The Massachusetts workers’ compensation system provides employees with on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses with non-medical benefits that are generally less than the employee’s full wages for their regular work schedule. For example, if you qualify for temporary total disability workers’ benefits, you qualify for 60% of your average weekly wage (including overtime) based upon the 52 weeks prior to your injury or illness for up to 156 weeks. You will receive this compensation payment directly from the college’s workers’ compensation third party administrator. Workers Compensation leave is defined in accordance with the guidelines established by the Family Medical Leave Act.
The College, however, adds additional pay for regular employees eligible for these non-medical workers’ compensation benefits for up to 100% of the net pay of an employee’s base salary for a maximum of six months, subject to medical verification on the employee’s inability to work in any capacity. If the employee is still unable to work after six months, the full-pay leave benefit will expire, the employee will be removed from payroll, but will continue to receive payment directly from the college’s workers’ compensation third party administrator at the level of compensation required under the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system.
In the event a regular employee has significant amounts of overtime pay in the 52 weeks prior to the occupational injury or illness, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation non-medical benefits may exceed the full-pay leave benefits provided by the college. In these cases, the employee would not receive the full-pay leave benefits from the college.
Employees are expected to cooperate fully with requests from the college for independent medical examinations or requests for additional information regarding the nature of the workers’ compensation claim.
If Relapse or Reinjury Occurs
When an employee returns to work within six months and suffers a relapse or reinjury, the balance of the paid leave will be provided during additional time away from work. When the college’s six-month full-pay leave benefit has been exhausted, compensation payments from the college’s workers’ compensation third party administrator will continue.
Waiting Period Before Next Use of Full Pay Six Month Leave Reinstated
Workers’ compensation will cover a second incident after the employee has returned to work full-time and at full duty for twelve months.
During the six-month full-pay benefit period, the college will make an effort to keep the employee’s job available, dividing the work among other employees, postponing some work, or staffing the job when possible with temporary help. If it is apparent that the employee will not by the end of the six-month period be able to perform the essential functions of the original job in the near term, the position may be filled. Employees on workers’ compensation leave are encouraged to return to work as soon as medically possible. Temporary light duty assignments to accommodate medical limitations may be arranged following review with the department head and the Office of Human Resources. If the employee is unable to return to his or her original work assignment in any capacity at the end of the six-month period, any rehire of the employee in the future will be subject to availability of suitable positions, the ability of the employee to perform the essential functions of the job, and the needs of the college.
Service, Paid Leave, and Benefit Continuation
A leave of absence under this policy, within the six-month limit, is not regarded as a break in service. However, personal, sick, and vacation leave will not be earned during the period of the leave. Staff should contact the Benefits Office for information about continued insurance coverage during a workers’ compensation leave of absence.