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Any HR specialists out there?

Posted By: bustednutz

Any HR specialists out there? - 05/24/16 11:23 PM

Just a quick question for anyone with HR knowledge or similar experience. A friend of mine fell at work, and bumped her head. Employer sent her to their Dr. For an X-ray. No injuries or breaks and she says she's fine. Dr. Placed her on light duty for a week. Dr. Also notified employer of restrictions.
The employer does not have any light duty positions avail. I understand that. Her employer instead told her to use up her sick days during that time.
Somehow that doesn't sound right. She works for an enormous hospital here in VA.
I'm thinking the the manager she talked to doesn't know the HR policy well.
But I also know the whole "light duty" area can be tricky. I've read a million horror stories online about people returning from light duty only to be fired. My advice to her was to talk to her other managers or HR to find out if this is how it's really handled. I just don't want her to rock the boat too bad. She really needs this job. Kinda sucks how employers can have you in a headlock.
Posted By: JustinH

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/24/16 11:30 PM

She probably has a ton of sick hours. Why worry about using a week?

Americans work way too much as is. Take the week off.

Our policy is at work, if you are off more than 2 days in a row sick, you need a doctors note.

Doctors notice would cover her from being off a week.

Use the sick time and take it easy.
Posted By: Shannow

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/24/16 11:36 PM

Under Australian Law (I know it's not yours), the employer cannot send her off to use her leave for a work related accident. Especially seeing as the employer himself sent her to THEIR doctor, who advised light duties.

Here, they would be obliged to find light duties (by their workers compensation insurer), or to pay her full time for being at home should they not be able to find such duties. As such, the insurer would demand that she be given a job like opening letters to keep her on site.

The incident would also impact the safety stats, safety triangle, LTI rate, and subsequent insurance premiums.

They are trying to dodge ALL of this by asking her be off sick.
Posted By: bustednutz

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/24/16 11:36 PM

But those are for being sick. Not placed on light duty. That's her thinking on it as well.
I think the fear is she'll be a target if she files a workers comp claim.
Posted By: JXW

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/24/16 11:40 PM

She is excused from work. Compensation for her time off is the question.

Most employers create light duty tasks to permit employees to earn until healed. It's a tricky situation until the employee is cleared to full return duties.

Workers compensation should handle the direct Cost of care, but not wages lost.

Posted By: fdcg27

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/24/16 11:59 PM

Yeah, comp should cover wages lost as a result of a work-related injury.
Her employer may be trying to avoid a workplace safety eval by their comp provider or their HR folks (bottom of the barrel managers in most organizations) may be trying to avoid having to do the necessary paperwork to get her comp claim through.
An OTJ injury is clearly covered under WC and she should not need to use her earned sick time to cover her absence.
Things may be different in the employer-friendly South.
I don't know how bad things are where she works, but she may be ahead just using earned sick leave if she needs to keep her current job, even though to require that she do so is both illegal and unfair.
OT, this is another benefit that unions offer hourly employees.
A grievance in a union shop would resolve this with a quickness.
Posted By: eljefino

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 12:03 AM

It differs from state to state. In Maine one needs to be out a week or two to qualify for "pay" but WC pays all the doctors bills regardless. (After the time elapses pay is retroactive to 80% of the average weekly salary.)

Being on light duty, they could pay her to stare at a wall or something similarly outrageously boring. She might take the hint after Monday and take sick time of her own free will the rest of the week.
Posted By: NMBurb02

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 12:37 AM

Have her start here: http://www.vwc.state.va.us/content/injured-workers. There are links to various resources there that will point her in the right direction.
Posted By: SumpChump

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 12:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Shannow
Under Australian Law (I know it's not yours), the employer cannot send her off to use her leave for a work related accident. Especially seeing as the employer himself sent her to THEIR doctor, who advised light duties.

They are trying to dodge ALL of this by asking her be off sick.


Thinking aloud about HR in North America.....Why is it that such common sense and simple humanity can work just fine anywhere else but here it gets mentioned and a swell rises in the media of comments such as, "It'll destroy the economy, It'll cripple business!" So...um... business can only exist if labor is squashed into faceless drones who work injured or with rotting teeth in their heads?

Posted By: Jimzz

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 01:05 AM

It differs state to state but she should file a claim under workman's comp. COP (Continuation of Pay) might cover this again depending on the state and its rules.

<- Former Fed HR specialist
Posted By: Mr Nice

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 01:19 AM

Here in Florida you don't collect WC unless you are legitimately injured.
If she bumped her head and no lacerations or stitches she should be on light duty.
Many companies avoid WC claims unless necessary.

I get 200 hours of sick pay (not PTO / vacation time) that I would never use if injured on the job. If i don't feel good I'll use a few days.
Posted By: Mr Nice

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 01:54 AM

This is kind of OT.

We don't punch in (time clock). Knowing my boss... they would tell you to take a fews days off and for Kronos (online schedule) just keep your same schedule as if you worked those missed days.

1. You get a few days off at full pay
2. We avoid WC paperwork and WC claim
3. EHS manager not asking why you got hurt
4. You don't have to use any of your sick pay
5. My boss doesn't want big boss ask questions as to why EHS manager is involved and WC claim filed
6. Each employee manages their own Kronos 'time card' so everything is Kosher
7. Every time someone gets hurt on the job, EHS corporate sends out a "Someone got hurt" email to 1000 employees explaining how this slip and fall could have been avoided

Posted By: skyactiv

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 01:59 AM

I'd think a hospital is the last place that would wanna screw over employees that got injured on the job. Yes, managers are often inept and don't know the policy like they should. It should be in writing and available to employees to read. It is at my job, but I'm a Teamster.
Posted By: Donald

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 02:00 AM

This is a workers comp issue. The person should get paid by workers comp (tax is not withheld).

You get hurt at work, it's workers comp.
Posted By: hatt

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 02:01 AM

How does an enormous hospital not have any LD positions?
Posted By: Nederlander75

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 02:26 AM

This is typically legal in most states. The employer also has options to specify a leave of absence with pay if vacation or pto Is available or unpaid if not or put them on short term disability if they have that benefit. One other option is to layoff the employee with a scheduled recall similar to auto workers.
Posted By: NMBurb02

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 02:41 AM

Originally Posted By: Nederlander75
This is typically legal in most states. The employer also has options to specify a leave of absence with pay if vacation or pto Is available or unpaid if not or put them on short term disability if they have that benefit. One other option is to layoff the employee with a scheduled recall similar to auto workers.

No, it is not legal in any state to require employees to take paid or unpaid leave to recover from a work-related injury. Every state (with very few and specific exceptions) requires employers to maintain workers' compensation insurance, which pays for medical bills, lost wages, and permanent disabilities resulting from workplace injuries. Every state has something similar to the link I shared, which explains employer and employee responsibilities for workplace injuries.
Posted By: RamFan

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 02:45 AM

In short, if she has a medical restriction due to a workplace injury and the employer won't or can't accommodate light duty then she is to be paid through Workman's Compensation insurance.

She cannot be forced to take a sick days in this instance. If they do, she could have serious grounds for legal recourse. Check out your states DOL website.

This will vary, SLIGHTLY, by state.
Posted By: RamFan

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 02:46 AM

Originally Posted By: NMBurb02
Originally Posted By: Nederlander75
This is typically legal in most states. The employer also has options to specify a leave of absence with pay if vacation or pto Is available or unpaid if not or put them on short term disability if they have that benefit. One other option is to layoff the employee with a scheduled recall similar to auto workers.

No, it is not legal in any state to require employees to take paid or unpaid leave to recover from a work-related injury. Every state (with very few and specific exceptions) requires employers to maintain workers' compensation insurance, which pays for medical bills, lost wages, and permanent disabilities resulting from workplace injuries. Every state has something similar to the link I shared, which explains employer and employee responsibilities for workplace injuries.


Took the words out of my mouth, errr, keyboard?
Posted By: 69GTX

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 02:49 AM

As a facility manager of an OSHA star facility we frequently had to make fine decisions on what was a recordable or non-recordable "accident." And then the lost time, restricted/limited duty issues. If the OP's accident occurred in my state it would be a restricted duty accident. I could see why the HR guys would try to get the person to accept sick time and wash over the limited duty issues. Thing is, having that person on sick time doesn't change anything. The doctor's prescription for limited duty is what counts. This is an OSHA recordable accident due to the Dr's assigning limited duty status or temporary change of job description. This resets the OSHA recordable accident clock which a lot of facilities/companies use to show case their safety record. Some companies go years between recordable accidents. So a reset is a huge deal to them.

The person should not be forced to take sick time if they don't want to. Whenever we put someone on limited duty restrictions they were always kept at their regular full pay. As I recall Workman's Comp kicked in after 5 days/1 week or something close to that. In other words you might have (or choose to) to burn 5 vacation/sick days before you could be eligible to collect WC. If you didn't choose (or had no vac/sick time to use) you might get a light pay check while waiting for WC to kick in.
Posted By: NMBurb02

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 02:54 AM

Originally Posted By: NMBurb02
Originally Posted By: Nederlander75
This is typically legal in most states. The employer also has options to specify a leave of absence with pay if vacation or pto Is available or unpaid if not or put them on short term disability if they have that benefit. One other option is to layoff the employee with a scheduled recall similar to auto workers.

No, it is not legal in any state to require employees to take paid or unpaid leave to recover from a work-related injury. Every state (with very few and specific exceptions) requires employers to maintain workers' compensation insurance, which pays for medical bills, lost wages, and permanent disabilities resulting from workplace injuries. Every state has something similar to the link I shared, which explains employer and employee responsibilities for workplace injuries.

The employer can keep the employee from returning to work if they cannot accomodate her doctor-prescribed work restrictions but cannot require her to use sick time. Each state has a waiting period before lost wage compensation (through the workers' compensation insurance program and at 66 2/3% pay in most states) kicks in and PTO/sick days can be used to provide income during that waiting period or if the period is not exceeded, but the employer cannot require such. And they cannot fire her for taking time off that is medically necessary due to a work injury. There may be some things later on down the line (usually months into missing work) that they can cut off benefits and do other things, but her position normally must be made available to her upon her return unless the position itself is eliminated in the meantime.
Posted By: Kuato

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 03:12 AM

Injured on the job, not her fault = workmen's comp. Shouldn't have to use sick time, the company should foot the bill....of course subject to state laws. I wouldn't be surprised if attorneys are involved by the end.
Posted By: Nederlander75

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 03:41 AM

Originally Posted By: NMBurb02
Originally Posted By: Nederlander75
This is typically legal in most states. The employer also has options to specify a leave of absence with pay if vacation or pto Is available or unpaid if not or put them on short term disability if they have that benefit. One other option is to layoff the employee with a scheduled recall similar to auto workers.

No, it is not legal in any state to require employees to take paid or unpaid leave to recover from a work-related injury. Every state (with very few and specific exceptions) requires employers to maintain workers' compensation insurance, which pays for medical bills, lost wages, and permanent disabilities resulting from workplace injuries. Every state has something similar to the link I shared, which explains employer and employee responsibilities for workplace injuries.


On my third multi national company now that we do it ii. Sucks but it is the reality.
Posted By: NMBurb02

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 03:54 AM

Originally Posted By: Nederlander75
Originally Posted By: NMBurb02
Originally Posted By: Nederlander75
This is typically legal in most states. The employer also has options to specify a leave of absence with pay if vacation or pto Is available or unpaid if not or put them on short term disability if they have that benefit. One other option is to layoff the employee with a scheduled recall similar to auto workers.

No, it is not legal in any state to require employees to take paid or unpaid leave to recover from a work-related injury. Every state (with very few and specific exceptions) requires employers to maintain workers' compensation insurance, which pays for medical bills, lost wages, and permanent disabilities resulting from workplace injuries. Every state has something similar to the link I shared, which explains employer and employee responsibilities for workplace injuries.


On my third multi national company now that we do it ii. Sucks but it is the reality.

Just because the multinationals that you have worked for do it does not mean it is legal. I work for one of the largest workers' compensation insurance companies in the US. I live and breath this stuff daily. I know what I'm talking about and you do not. You would have this woman roll over and give up her legal rights. I would have her made whole. It would be nice of you to have at least some knowledge on a topic before giving people potentially live changing advice on said topic.

Definition: Insurance that covers medical and rehabilitation costs and lost wages for employees injured at work; required by law in all states .
Posted By: bvance554

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 05:24 AM

The weather forecast in VA for this week is the best it has been all spring. Just take the week off and go outside to recuperate. Actually having sick time is a blessing these days.
Posted By: Mr Nice

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 04:12 PM

I got an EHS corporate email today that someone was injured for failing to use proper LOTO (lock out, tag out) and now his boss has to explain why employee needs WC.

Back on topic.
Does the woman injured at hospital want to work light duty.... or does she want a few days off af full pay ?
Posted By: Shannow

Re: Any HR specialists out there? - 05/25/16 09:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
I got an EHS corporate email today that someone was injured for failing to use proper LOTO (lock out, tag out) and now his boss has to explain why employee needs WC.



That's an interesting one for Oz too, if you do something intentionally that puts you in arm's way, any payout (compensation payout, not WC weekly payments) are reduced by the percentage of your culpability.

WC is still on the hook for paying you your "wage" and making you whole.

OT I run all the LOTO investigations here, and it's amazing what humans are capable of.
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