Lake Superior State University
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Section: Employee/Labor Relations Section Number: 4.4.4
Subject: Mandated Benefits: Worker's Compensation Date of Present Issue: 05/27/04
  Date of Previous Issues:
01/79, 11/81, 03/87, 10/94

POLICY:

The University is subject to the requirements of the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act.  The Worker's Compensation law of the State of Michigan applies to all University employees, providing benefits in the form of payment of doctor bills, hospital charges, fixed sum payments for certain injuries, and weekly benefits for loss of time resulting from service-connected disabilities.  Claims are handled through the Human Resources Office, where detailed information may be obtained.

It is the responsibility of the employee to report any work-connected injury or illness, whether requiring treatment or not, to the immediate supervisor within 24 hours of occurrence.  See procedures 4.2.1. for reporting requirements and 3.23.1. for training requirements on hazardous materials.

PROCEDURE

The Worker's Compensation fund provides weekly benefits for time off work for work-related injuries/illnesses which exceed seven (7) days (5 working days) in duration, commencing with the sixth day off work.  If time off exceeds fourteen (14) calendar days (10 work days) the compensation benefits will go back to the day after the day the injury/illness occurred.

Work-related injuries/illnesses are reported to Adjusting Services Unlimited (ASU) by the Human Resources Office.  ASU is the University's agent for handling all claims and disputes and for reporting all information regarding excess claims insurance.

In order to meet requirements of state law, the University will handle work-related absences in the following manner:

1.  Any employee who incurs a work-related injury/illness resulting in time off work, will be given a payroll advance, if requested, for the time off due to this injury/illness, equal to the net pay of the individual, for the first regular work week off work (5 work days) or part thereof, and hours will not be reported on time sheets until Worker's Compensation payment (if any) has been determined.

2.  An employee who has a sufficient sick leave bank will continue to receive advances for time off work (equal to net pay to the limit of accrued sick leave) until compensation has been determined.  An employee who has no accumulated sick leave will receive an advance for only the first five days off work.

3.  If time off work does not exceed seven (7) days, and is not compensable, then time off will be recorded as sick leave (retroactive to the first day) if accrued, or as straight time for the first week only, if there is no sick leave accrued in the individual's account.  The individual who has no sick leave accrued may choose to have the excess hours deducted from accrued vacation, if any is accrued.

4.  If time off work continues beyond fourteen (14) days and compensation is received from the Compensation Board, then the difference between the individual's gross pay and the compensation check for the same period will be recorded on time sheets as hours worked (at the individual's regular hourly rate), charged to the individual's sick leave bank or, if exhausted, to vacation or leave without pay if the individual so requests.  If the individual has no accrued sick leave (or vacation) balance, she or he will receive only the compensation check for any subsequent time off work.

5.  Worker's Compensation payments are normally at about 76% of gross pay, but varies according to the individual's circumstances.  Departments recording time for the difference between compensation and normal gross pay of an individual should coordinate with the Human Resources Office the hours to be reported.  The amount of sick leave (or vacation) payment in excess of worker's compensation payments will be subject to employer FICA (social security) and retirement contributions. Deductions will be made from this sick leave (or vacation) payment for the appropriate amount of withholding tax and FICA tax, and the hours will be reported to the retirement board, as credit towards service time.

6.  Since July 1, 1992 the University has reported to MPSERS current and future weekly worker's compensation payments for those employees receiving compensation from the Compensation Board.  Retirement credit will be granted according to the credit that would have been granted had the employee not been in receipt of weekly worker's compensation.

7.  The University’s priority is to return employees to regular duties without restrictions.  However, the University will make every effort to temporarily provide work assignment(s) to suit the employee’s current medical condition and job skills.  The University will require a medical provider’s approval for a temporary assignment. There is no guarantee of the availability of a temporary assignment, nor is there a guaranteed length of time that a temporary assignment may exist.

 

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