Workers' Compensation

 

Applicable Employee Classes:

Original Policy Date:

Reviewed Date:

Approved by:

All Florida Tech Employees

2015

2021

Dr. T. Dwayne McCay, President

Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish the University's compliance with state law to provide workers' compensation insurance benefits to eligible employees injured on the job and occupational diseases arising out of and in the course of employment by the University.

Policy Statement 

The University is covered under statutory state Workers' Compensation law and the National Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. All employees of Florida Institute of Technology have coverage for medical expenses and loss of income resulting from a work-related injury or illness, in accordance with both the Workers' Compensation Act and the Worker's Occupational Diseases Act. The University's workers' compensation insurance carrier determines what, if any, benefits the employee will receive. The determination of benefits is subject to the requirements and limits of applicable Florida's Workers' Compensation law. 

In the event of on-the-job injury or illness, an employee should obtain appropriate medical treatment as soon as possible after the injury or onset of illness. No matter how minor an on-the-job injury may appear, it must be reported.

Procedures 

In the event of an accident on campus or work-related injury or illness, the employee must notify their supervisor and the Office of Compliance and Risk Management immediately. The employee or supervisor must complete the Employee Accident/Injury Report; the employee must sign the report and submit it to the Office of Compliance and Risk Management as soon as possible, but no later than within 30 days after the date of or initial manifestation of the injury or onset of occupational illness. If the employee is absent and cannot sign the report, the supervisor should indicate and submit the report to the Office of Compliance and Risk Management. It is essential to submit the forms to the Office of Compliance and Risk Management as soon as possible so that employees can begin to receive benefits in a timely manner. The Employee Accident/Injury report is filed with the State of Florida to ensure that any benefits the injured employee may be entitled to are not jeopardized by failure to report. Failure to report the injury/illness in the noted timeframe could result in the denial of the claim.   

The employee will be instructed that he/she has the right to medical care and directed to an authorized medical provider. The Office of Compliance and Risk Management can assist the employee seeking care by calling Holzer Health Center to ensure availability. If Holzer cannot schedule with the employee or is closed, the employee is referred to Premier Urgent Care or Holmes Regional Medical Center. The injured employee may go to the nearest urgent care or hospital that is closer in proximity if needed. If a non-life-threatening on-the-job injury occurs after 1700L, the employee should seek medical care at Premier Urgent Care, Holmes Regional Medical Center or the closest urgent care facility or hospital, contact his/her supervisor as soon as possible, notify the Office of Compliance and Risk Management the next business day and submit the Employee Accident/Injury report. For life-threatening or traumatic injuries, the employee, witness or supervisor should call 911 immediately. 

After the first medical care visit, the insurance carrier will contact the injured employee to verify the information and assist in scheduling follow-up appointments. The health care provider will request that the employee follows up within a certain timeframe. The employee is responsible for scheduling follow-up appointments as directed and attend all scheduled appointments. The employee's responsibility is to provide their supervisors and the Office of Compliance and Risk Management a doctor's note for all absences related to the injury within 24 hours. 

Employees electing to utilize medical providers not authorized in advance by Florida Tech and/or its workers' compensation insurance carrier may be responsible for any costs related to such services rendered. 

The insurance carrier will provide the Office of Compliance and Risk Management medical status reports after each appointment. This allows the University to determine the positions available within work restrictions. The University's goal is to provide an opportunity for continued employment within the injured employees' restrictions until the employee can return to their regular full-time duties and position. The employee must follow the assigned physicians' recommendations regarding their restrictions, therapies, and medications, not only in the workplace but also at home. 

The responsibility for verifying that an injury or illness is work-related, determining the medical coverage to be provided, and determining the amount of pay to be paid by workers' compensation insurance lies with the insurance carrier. These decisions are reached by reviewing accident reports, including the employee's statement of how the injury or illness occurred. 

Florida Tech reserves the right to conduct drug and/or alcohol testing of all parties to work-related accidents or incidents. Information about Florida Tech Drug-Free and Alcohol-Free Workplace policies can be accessed. 

Benefits

If an authorized treating physician places an injured employee off work, the workers' compensation benefits for lost wages will start on the eighth day that the employee is unable to work. No wage replacement benefits are paid for the first 7 days of work missed unless the employee is out of work for more than 21 days due to work-related injury or illness. If lost time is more than 21 days, the workers' compensation wage benefits are retroactive to the original date of injury. In cases where the workers' compensation insurance carrier provides payment of wages, wage replacement benefits will equal two-thirds (66-2/3%) of the employee's pre-injury regular weekly wage, but the benefit will not exceed Florida's Maximum Compensation Rate for the year of the accident and is on a paid biweekly basis. The University will continue to pay the employee's portion of medical premiums, and the employee will be required to reimburse the University on a monthly basis. The Office of Compliance and Risk Management will notify the Office of Human Resources.

Compensation and Sick Leave Provisions

Employees who are approved for workers' compensation payments and who have sick leave accrued may use sick leave to supplement their workers' compensation payment as follows:

  • Pay for the first 7 days of lost time, provided that the total lost time does not exceed more than 21 days (in which case the first three days will be paid as Workers' Compensation).
  • If an employee has no sick leave available, vacation may be used for the difference between the employee's regular pay and the payment from workers' compensation.
  • When all sick leave and vacation hours have been used, the University will continue to issue a paycheck in the amount of the workers' compensation benefit.

Return to Work Program

Employees released to light duty must contact the Office of Compliance and Risk Management immediately. Restrictions will be reviewed, and we will implement the process of our Return to Work Program.

If an employee sustains a work-related injury and is unable to return to work to perform regular job duties, the University will make every effort to bring the employee back to work in a temporary modified-duty position. However, modified work may not always be available.

If an injured employee fails to accept the modified-duty assignment or fails to return to work after the employee is cleared by a treating physician, the employee will jeopardize their workers' compensation benefits. Employees working in modified-duty work assignments will be held to the same performance standards and expectations as other employees. This program does not create an entitlement or right to a modified duty assignment. This policy does not alter an employee's at-will employment status.

All treating medical providers shall be advised that Florida Tech has a modified duty program, and all appropriate employee restrictions will need to be listed to minimize further injury and promote the healing process. Failure to call in or show up for light or modified duty assignment may jeopardize the employee's eligibility for workers' compensation indemnity benefits.

Definitions (if applicable)

Not applicable.

Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the Employee

An employee who is injured or becomes ill on the job shall:

  • Report the incident immediately or as soon as reasonably possible to his/her supervisor and the Office of Compliance and Risk Management so proper documentation can be filed for a federal inspection.
  • Seek medical attention through only the health care providers designated by Florida Tech's workers' compensation insurance company. If you receive treatment from any provider other than the authorized provider, the employer or workers' compensation insurance carrier may not cover treatment.
  • If given restrictions, ensure to communicate the Office of Compliance and Risk Management.
  • If an employee must be off work due to an incident, he/she is expected to comply with all treatment regimens and cooperate with all pertinent Florida Tech and third-party administrative offices in a good-faith effort to return to work.
  • No employee will be allowed to return to work without proper medical clearance.
  • Employees are responsible for coordinating medical leave of absence with the Office of Human Resources.

Responsibilities of the Supervisor

Upon notification of on-the-job injury or illness, the supervisor shall:

  • Make certain the employee seeks and receives proper medical attention. If the patient is unable to take themselves to the health center, coordinate transportation with the University's Department of Security. In case of an emergency, follow the standard procedures established by the University.
  • Investigate and document the nature of the incident, including any witnesses. Apparent unsafe conditions should be reported to Security and the Office of Compliance and Risk Management.
  • Review the "Employee Accident/Injury Report" submitted by the injured individual, and then submit the document to the Office of Compliance and Risk Management.

Enforcement (if applicable)

The University is required by law to report work-related injury or illness, whether major or minor, to the state within seven days of such occurrence. All supervisors and/or employees must provide the Office of Compliance and Risk Management with an executed Accident/Injury report and any pertinent notes and information immediately so the claim can be filed with the insurance carrier.

Failure to notify the employer of the injury immediately may also result in a loss of benefits for the employee.

The University is required by law to report work-related injury or illness, whether major or minor, to the state within seven days of such occurrence. All supervisors and/or employees must provide the Office of Compliance and Risk Management with an executed Accident/Injury report and any pertinent notes and information immediately so the claim can be filed with the insurance carrier.

Failure to notify the employer of the injury immediately may also result in a loss of benefits for the employee.