Workers' Compensation Procedure - 63.07.24
College Policy Number/Title:
Howard Community College employees may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, as provided under Maryland law, for injuries sustained on the job. The benefits may include all reasonable medical expenses related to the injury including medical treatment, hospitalization, and wage reimbursement. Injuries that are self-inflicted or due to intoxication, drug use, or willful misconduct will not be covered under workers' compensation benefits.
If an employee is involved in a work injury, it must be reported to the employee’s supervisor, the office of human resources, and public safety as soon as possible. All injured employees must complete the "Howard County Employee Incident/Injury Report," which will be provided by the office of human resources or the employee's supervisor. This report must be completed and returned to the supervisor within 24 hours of the injury. Failure of the employee to complete the injury report may jeopardize or delay the employee's workers' compensation benefits. Any employee who files a fraudulent workers' compensation claim will be subject to legal action and immediate dismissal.
For life-threatening injuries, employees should immediately go to the hospital emergency room. For other incidents requiring medical attention, employees are encouraged to visit the Concentra Medical Center, located at 6656 Dobbin Road, Columbia, Maryland. Employees who seek treatment will not need to use leave for the initial appointment and evaluation. If follow up appointments are necessary, employees are encouraged to schedule medical appointments during off work hours. Recognizing that this is not always possible, employees who visit the Concentra Medical Center during their work hours will be paid at the regular salary rate. Employees who go to medical appointments during work hours with a physician besides Concentra will have to use any available leave they may have, unless the appointment with a physician is at the request of the Howard County Risk Management Office. The employee should inform the physician/hospital that it is a work-related injury and submit all bills, medical records, and related materials to the office of human resources upon receipt. Time cards or attendance sheets should be marked with "Workers' Compensation" for any hours spent at the Concentra Medical Center or time off due to incapacity as a result of the incident. Any time an employee misses from work due to a work injury must be documented with a doctor's note.
If an employee is involved in a work-related injury and cannot return to work, the time that the employee misses from work must be charged to any available leave that the employee may have. Once the injury has been determined to be covered under workers' compensation, leave benefits may be partially reimbursed to the employee at the rate allowed by Maryland State Law, as follows:
- Wages will be reimbursed at two-thirds of the employees' average weekly wage.
- No compensation is paid for the first three calendar days after the beginning of a disability unless the disability lasts for at least 15 days total. If the 15-day limit is met or exceeded, the first three days will be covered retroactively.
- If the disability lasts between one and 14 days inclusive, only day four through the end of the disability will be covered under workers' compensation benefits.
An employee may elect to use accrued sick, personal, or annual leave to make up the difference between regular gross salary and payments received under workers' compensation. If an injury is not covered under worker's compensation, an employee may use sick, personal, or annual leave, or may request short-term disability or leave without pay subject to the procedures regarding each. Additional leave is not accrued while the employee is receiving workers' compensation benefits. When all accrued leave is exhausted or employment ceases, only benefits under workers' compensation may be available. (Also, see procedure 63.08.15, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave.)
Return to Work
If an employee is able to return to work in a modified duty capacity, it is the employee's responsibility to notify the supervisor and the supervisor's responsibility to work with Howard County Risk Management and the office of human resources in an attempt to provide a modified duty position for the employee. An injured employee returning to work in regular duty capacity must provide the office of human resources with a medical release from the physician affirming that the employee is able to resume job duties, indicating returning employee’s physical work restrictions or reduction in work hours that will be necessary in their transitioning back to work. In addition, the employee may be required to attend a fitness for duty evaluation.
Effective Date: 04/12/19
President's Office Use: CHRO