(Approved by the Executive Vice President by authority of Executive Order No. 5)
The goal of the University's workers' compensation program is to provide "...sure and certain relief to employees injured in their work..." in accordance with Title 51 RCW. The University purchases workers' compensation insurance from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). Coverage is provided for all paid employees who are injured or become ill while acting within the course and scope of their duties for the University of Washington. Coverage begins automatically the first day of employment for all employees who receive University paychecks. Volunteer employees are covered as detailed in Section 4.b, "Coverage for Volunteers."
The Office of Risk Management is responsible for administering the workers' compensation program, and evaluating all financial aspects of its operation, as well as acting as the University's coordinator for the return-to-work program, per WAC 25119157 (3).
Volunteer workers may be covered for medical expenses related to injuries that occur during approved volunteer activities. Departments employing volunteers are responsible for maintaining the names of all volunteers, and their dates and hours worked. The premium cost for volunteer coverage is averaged across the University on an annual basis, and is not charged directly to departments. Volunteers who are injured should follow the same claim filing and accident reporting procedure as paid employees (see Administrative Policy Statement 10.8 and Section 4.c of this policy statement). More information on coverage for volunteers is available by calling the Office of Risk Management, 2065430183 or by sending an email inquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employees are required to report any work-related illness or injury to their supervisor immediately. Moreover, employees who are seriously injured, ill, or incapacitated may first need to seek medical treatment. It then becomes the supervisor's responsibility to contact the employee or the employee's family within 24 hours to make arrangements for accident reporting.
Employees obtain workers' compensation claim forms from their treating physicians. The University is insured through L&I, and employees should request L&I's Report of Industrial Injury or Occupational Disease form to claim workers' compensation. The employee and physician sections of the report are completed at the time of the employee's first visit to the physician.
The employer section of the Report of Industrial Injury or Occupational Disease form is forwarded to the Office of Risk Management, Box 351276. The Office of Risk Management is the only University department authorized to complete and sign the employer section of the L&I claim form. Forms received in the injured employee's home department should be forwarded to the Office of Risk Management.
The University's Accident/Incident/Quality Improvement Report must also be submitted by every employee filing a workers' compensation claim. This additional reporting is required by state and federal safety and health laws (see also Administrative Policy Statement 10.8).
The objective of the return-to-work policy is to maximize the recovery of injured employees after a work-related illness or injury. Prompt return to work after an injury minimizes loss to the injured employee and to the University, and is an integral part of the University's overall disability accommodation program.
The return-to-work policy focuses on returning injured employees to their preinjury jobs. Placement at other jobs in the employing department or elsewhere in the University, usually will be considered only after all reasonable accommodations to the preinjury job have been examined.
University provides accommodation to qualified
employees with disabilities as defined under state
and federal law. Accommodation requests are evaluated
on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration
the employee's restrictions due to disability,
the essential duties of the position, the work
environment, and the reasonableness of the proposed
accommodation (see Administrative
Policy Statement 46.5 for more detail).
All employees with active workers' compensation
claims are eligible to participate in the return-to-work
program, although, slightly different procedures
may apply to academic personnel and medical residents.
For more information, employees in these personnel
categories should contact the Office of Risk Management,
Box 351276, 2065430183, or via
email to email@example.com.
AccommodationEmployees with a work-related
illness or injury who are unable to perform one
or more of their job duties should contact either
their supervisor, department manager, or Human
Resource Representative about accommodation as
soon as possible. Employees are not required to
disclose to their immediate supervisor the medical
basis for the requested accommodation.
Care Provider/Physician StatementEmployees
may need to submit written information from their
health care provider before accommodations can
be considered. Generally, the Human Resource Representative
or the Office of Risk Management will request
the employee to submit a completed Disability
Accommodation Request form and a Health Care Provider
Statement form if more information is needed.
Other written physician statements may be submitted
in place of the Health Care Provider Statement
if they provide sufficient information to determine
the employee's restrictions.
Employee medical records are treated confidentially and are maintained either in the Office of Risk Management claim files or in the area personnel office, not in departmental files. The completed Health Care Provider Statement should be returned to either the Office of Risk Management or the employee's Human Resource Representative; it should not be returned to the supervisor.
more specific information is needed in order to
respond to the request for accommodation, a job
analysis of the employee's position will be prepared
by the department in conjunction with the Human
Resource Representative and the Office of Risk
Management and forwarded to the health care provider
for more information.
the Date of Return to WorkThe employee and
the supervisor are expected to contact each other
regularly to establish the earliest date the employee
may be released by his or her health care provider
to return to work.
are responsible for conveying return-to-work information
to the Office of Risk Management, Box 351276,
2065430183, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Responsibility for RestrictionsEmployees
are responsible for working within their health
care provider's restrictions, and immediately
reporting any problems to their supervisor. If
the problem cannot be resolved with the supervisor,
employees may contact their Human Resource Representative
or the Office of Risk Management for further assistance.
Responsibility for Assigning Work Within RestrictionsSupervisors
are responsible for ensuring that employees are
assigned work within their health care provider's
restrictions. It is advisable for supervisors
to contact employees daily while on modified duty
for the first two weeks after they return to work,
and on a regular basis thereafter. A supervisor's
questions about the modified duty assignment can
be addressed to the Office of Risk Management
or their Human Resource Representative.
DisabilityEmployees who receive permanent
restrictions from their physician are expected
to review their restrictions with their supervisor,
the Office of Risk Management, or their Human
Resource Representative as soon as possible to
determine whether permanent job modifications
can be made in accordance with the University's
policy on disability accommodation.
|4)||Coordination With Other ProgramsThe Office of Risk Management will coordinate with the Department of Personnel Services, the Disability Services Office, employing departments, the Employee Assistance Program, the Washington State Personnel Resources Board, and other applicable state and University programs as needed to promote the recovery of the injured employee.|
Employees who are off work due to a work-related injury or illness may elect to use any combination of sick leave, annual leave, or leave without pay to cover their absence from work. Many employees choose to use sick leave or annual leave to make up the difference between timeloss payments and their regular wages, or to continue their regular income until timeloss payments begin. It should be noted, however, that full sick leave wages and timeloss benefits cannot be received concurrently (per WAC 25122165). Employees who receive a combination of timeloss benefits and sick leave in excess of their regular wages are required to refund the excess to the University.
The Office of Risk Management will contact the home department of employees receiving timeloss benefits to determine if excess payments have been made. Refund amounts will be calculated based on the employee's gross hourly wage, the amount of sick time used, and the amount of timeloss benefits paid by L&I.
Leave reimbursement will result in partial restoration of the sick leave time used. Employees who use annual leave to cover absences can elect to reimburse the University and have that leave partially restored; however, reimbursement for annual leave is not required. More information is available through the Risk Management Office, 2065430183, or by sending an email inquiry to email@example.com.