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Human Resources

Workers' Compensation

Date: July 2011

As required by Maine State law, Workers' Compensation is available for coverage of costs associated with employee injuries/illnesses that arise out of or are incurred in the course of an employee's duties at work. Upon prompt reporting to an immediate supervisor of a work-related injury or illness, a Supervisor's Accident/Injury Report must be completed and sent to Human Resources. Using information in the report, Human Resources will file a Workers' Compensation claim on behalf of the injured employee. Traveling to and from work, lunch breaks, recreational sports activities, or personal errands are not considered work-related activities. However, traveling to and from College meetings, teaching a class, or performing administrative or other duties may be considered "work-related".

In the event of a compensable injury or illness causing lost time from work, the Maine Workers' Compensation program provides payment of eligible medical costs and 80% of an employee's after-tax wages. There is a 7-day "waiting period" before lost wages must be paid by Workers' Compensation. This means that an employee injured in the course of his/her work who is ordered out of work by a physician must use accrued sick and/or vacation time for the first seven days of absence. **PLEASE NOTE:  An employee who is out of work due to a workplace accident or illness (and eligible for workers' compensation benefits) is not eligible to receive an award from the Emergency Sick Time bank to cover the waiting period.  If the lost time reaches 8 days, then lost wages are paid at 80% of the after-tax rate, beginning from the 8th day. If the employee continues to be out of work for 14 days or more, then lost wages are paid back to the first lost day. Once employees are receiving workers' compensation benefits, they cannot use and/or accrue sick, vacation, and/or holiday benefit time.

The College has a comprehensive Return to Work Program administered by Human Resources in close conjunction with departmental supervisors. Insofar as possible, the College will make reasonable accommodations for injured employees to assist them in their safe transition back to the workplace.

Return to Work. When an employee is ordered out of work by a physician as a result of an injury or illness arising from work at Bowdoin College, Human Resources staff and supervisors immediately try to identify work which may be suitable for that employee upon his/her return. Human Resources staff request attending physicians to specify the employee's work capacity and limitations that may be needed to accommodate recovery. In general, the College strives to keep employees in their respective departments during this time period, unless suitable work is unavailable. In this case, Human Resources staff may locate restricted work in another department until the employee can resume his/her normal duties. Reasonable efforts will be made to locate work within medically-ordered restrictions, but in some cases this may not be possible. Work restrictions ordered by medical professionals must be strictly followed and communicated clearly to supervisors and Human Resources staff. Failure to follow medically-ordered work restrictions may result in disciplinary action.