All employees and supervisors must promptly and properly report Workers’ Compensation incidents, and employees must receive appropriate medical treatment for work related injuries and/or illnesses. For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:
- Workers’ Compensation Act: A law defining the liability of an employer to pay damages for injuries and/or illnesses received by an employee in the course and scope of employment,
- Employee: Any salaried or hourly employee of Temple University as defined by the law,
- Panel: Refers to the posted list of at least six health care providers designated by Temple University to be utilized by injured and/or ill employees during the first 90 days of medical care, if needed. Additional information on the panel is included on the Human Resources Web site (click here to view the panel).
Temple University strives to ensure that all employees who are injured on the job will receive proper medical treatment as required under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Every occupational illness and/or injury must be reported, regardless of how minor. These reports will be investigated to ensure the receipt of medical and/or disability benefits due the employee.
An employee must report any work-related illness or injury to his or her supervisor so that the supervisor can arrange for immediate medical care if needed (including transportation), complete all required reports and documents in a timely and accurate manner, and report the incident to the Workers’ Compensation Office in the Human Resources Department. The Workers’ Compensation Office will provide direction and training to manage staff and coordinate claims administration.
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act requires any employee who is injured on the job to:
- Give notice to his/her immediate supervisor, as soon as he/she knows that the injury/illness is work related,
- Complete an Incident Report, and
- Seek treatment from one of the posted health care providers for a period of 90 days following the date of his/her first visit. Referrals to non-panel health care providers prescribed by a panel health care provider will be covered. However, other treatment or services provided by non-panel health care
providers will not be paid by Temple University.
Employees seeking treatment from a non-panel health care provider during the first 90 days will jeopardize reimbursement by Temple University. If during the 90-day period an employee wishes to change health care providers, he/she may do so provided he/she visits another panel health care provider. After the 90-day period, an employee may choose to:
- Continue treatment from the posted physician or specialist to whom the employee was referred, or
- Seek treatment from another duly licensed health care provider, provided that the employee notifies the Claims Administrator within five (5) days of the first visit to the non-panel health care provider.
Employees certified as unable to return to work and/or with an indefinite return to work date, MUST remain in contact with their supervisor and the claims administrator. Employees and supervisors may contact the Workers’ Compensation Office in the Human Resources Department at 1-215-926-2270.
Indemnity and Medical Benefit Payment for Employees Collecting Workers' Compensation
Temple University compensates any employee who sustains a work-related injury and/or illness in accordance with the Workers’ Compensation Act. This payment is known as an “indemnity benefit” and is in addition to any medical benefits the injured worker may receive under the law. Indemnity benefits are not payable to an employee for the first seven calendar days, unless the disability equals or exceeds 14 calendar days.
During the first seven calendar days of absence due to a work-related injury or illness, the employee must use any sick days available, including sick bank days. If the work related absence equals or exceeds 14 calendar days, and payment for the first seven calendar days of disability is made to an injured and/or ill employee under the Workers’ Compensation Act, the employee will be required to reimburse Temple University for those sick days paid to the employee. The sick days will be added back to the employee’s accrued sick leave. Medical payments are made directly to health care providers for services rendered with regard to an employee’s work related injury and/or illness.
Benefits Continuance and Seniority Accrual for Employees Collecting Workers' Compensation
While collecting workers’ compensation benefits, an employee accrues seniority but does not accrue sick or vacation time. Unless otherwise covered by a collective bargaining agreement, employment will be terminated for those employees who are absent for more than 12 months. The employee will continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits until such benefits are terminated in accordance with Pennsylvania law.
If an employee is covered under Temple University’s insurance plans, medical, dental and other insurance benefits will continue for up to six months of any workers’ compensation leave period, provided that employee continues to pay his/her share of the cost of such coverage. At the end of this period, the employee will receive notice of his or her right to continue benefits under COBRA. Employees covered under a union benefit plan should contact their union for information concerning the continuation of health benefits.
Position Retention for Emplyees Collecting Workers' Compensation
When an employee is on workers’ compensation-related leave, Temple University holds open the employee’s position for up to six (6) months (including any period covered by the FMLA). Employees who are medically cleared to return to work after six months of absence should notify the Human Resources Department. The employee will be reinstated to a comparable position if available. If no position is available, the employee will be treated in accordance with Temple University’s reduction-in-force (RIF) policy (Section 16.5) for purposes of determining eligibility for reinstatement.
Family and Medical Leave for Employees Collecting Workers' Compensation
Temple University requires employees to use Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) for all work-related absences or illnesses that also meet the FMLA criteria. FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of job protection, and, to be eligible, employees must have worked at least 12 months and 1,250 hours in the last year.
Employees who meet the criteria for Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) will be contacted by the Human Resources Department with regard to this program.
Returning to Work for Employees Collecting Workers' Compensation
Temple University will make every effort to place employees who are released to return to work, with or without medical restrictions, in an open position for which the employee is otherwise qualified. Temple University reserves the right to assign employees with work restrictions to light duty assignments.
As soon as an employee is medically cleared to return to work, with or without restrictions, the employee must present his or her release to the Human Resources Department. The department will then review appropriate and available open positions throughout Temple University for a period of no less than 30 days and notify the employee in writing of job availability.