#1  
Unread 04-16-2008, 05:24 AM
Watson
 
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Default Pay for Worker's Comp Doctor visits?

We have a non-exempt employee who has violated a company policy and will be taking next week off without pay as per the disciplinary terms of the policy. He recently was injured in a work-related accident and has a doctor's appointment on Monday for that injury. Do we have to pay him for his time during that visit even though he is suspended without pay for an unrelated matter? Thanks in advance for your input everyone!
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  #2  
Unread 04-16-2008, 07:00 AM
ritaanz
 
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Default RE: Pay for Worker's Comp Doctor visits?

Was this a lost time injury? Did they lose time from from work as a r e sult?
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  #3  
Unread 04-16-2008, 07:11 AM
Watson
 
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Default RE: Pay for Worker's Comp Doctor visits?

No lost time. The employee was driving a company vehicle back to our office from an out-of-state job site and wasn't paying attention and rear-ended another vehicle. He then complained of a sore neck and we sent him to the doctor who gave him something for the discomfort with no work restriction. Since then, he's been fine. Now he's complaining that the soreness is back and asked to go back to the doc so we set up for a Monday follow-up with the doctor.
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  #4  
Unread 04-16-2008, 07:40 AM
ritaanz
 
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Default RE: Pay for Worker's Comp Doctor visits?

I am supposing that as a result of that accident he received the suspension. I see this situation as a catch 22 for the company. Whether you pay for the time at the doc or not, this guy could possibly file a workers comp claim.

However, your question was whether you should pay him, and I would not pay for the time.
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  #5  
Unread 04-16-2008, 08:06 AM
Watson
 
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Default RE: Pay for Worker's Comp Doctor visits?

Thanks for the advice. I went ahead and filed a WC claim the minute he started complaining because I felt like he was going to try to drag this "injury" out as a way to get out of trouble for the accident. He was traveling at a high rate of speed not paying attention as he drove in rain and heavy traffic, rear-ended one car injuring both passengers, sideswiped another car totaling it, and did $7000 worth of damage to our car. He told the cop he wasn't hurt then suddenly began hurting when he realized he would be reprimanded under our accident policy. I didn't want it to look like we were being unfair to him because the accident was his fault though, so I filed the WC claim on his behalf and have been very cooperative with him in setting up this 2nd doctor appointment. We're not administering the disciplinary measures any differently with him than we do with other similar employees so that he can't claim retaliation. Since he's off next week without pay though and is a non-exempt employee, I just wanted to make sure we wouldn't get in trouble if we don't pay him for the follow-up doctor visit during his week off without pay. Thanks again.
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  #6  
Unread 04-16-2008, 08:50 AM
Dutch2
 
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Default RE: Pay for Worker's Comp Doctor visits?

Same here... according to our WC provider we are not required to pay for follow-up visits with doc's, therapy, etc. The ee can use sick time or vaction if they wish to make up for the work time missed due to these visits.
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  #7  
Unread 04-18-2008, 04:34 AM
stilldazed
 
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Default RE: Pay for Worker's Comp Doctor visits?

Do not pay him for his time at the visit if you routinely don't pay other workers for their time at w/c medical visits. If you pay others, you should consider paying this one or risk setting yourself up for a w/c retaliation claim (from the suspended disgruntled worker who has plenty of time to think about being disgruntled while he's suspended for a week and research options on how he might get even with your company).

The cost for the visit itself is a different issue, and if his claim is a legitimate w/c claim, you probably will pay. The decision on whether or not to deny the cost of the visit would based on the specifics of the safety violation and whether the incident might have occurred anyway vs. whether the violating worker had full control of all variables at the time of the injury. Another consideration would be how strong your safety training program is, and the stronger the better.

best wishes


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