Workers Compensation Policy

Policy Statement

The North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act covers staff who sustain an injury or become ill as a result of on-the-job work. In accordance with this act, Duke staff will not be paid for the first seven calendar days of disability following the injury or illness. However, if the injury or illness results in a disability lasting more than 21 days, staff will be paid from the date of the disability. Staff who are absent due to compensable injuries may use accrued PTO, sick leave, vacation time, or earned discretionary holidays to cover the work-time missed during the seven-day statutory waiting period.

Policy Details

Compensation

In accordance with the North Carolina Workers Compensation Act, compensation will be calculated at a fixed rate of two-thirds (2/3) of the staff member’s average weekly wage up to the maximum weekly benefit established by the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

A staff member with a salary in excess of the maximum weekly benefit as established by the North Carolina Industrial Commission, may supplement their compensation with the use of PTO, Vacation or Sick Leave, but only to the extent that the sum of the compensation payments and use of PTO, sick or vacation leave may not exceed the two-thirds (2/3) of the staff member’s weekly straight time salary.

**A Claim Specialist will discuss in detail with the staff member the specifics of their compensation. 

All payments of compensation will be made directly to the staff member, dependent, guardian or personal representative entitled to the payments. Payments will be disbursed at the Workers Compensation Office, 705 Broad Street, Durham. At the staff member's request, payment of compensation will be mailed by first class mail, postage pre-paid, to an address specified by the staff member, unless otherwise directed by the Industrial Commission.

Lost Work Time-7 Days or Less: No compensation will be paid for the first seven (7) calendar days of disability resulting from a compensable illness/injury. The lost time may be charged to accrued PTO, Vacation or Sick Leave.

Lost Work Time Greater Than 7 Days but Less Than 21: If a compensable illness/injury results in lost time lasting longer than 7 calendar days but less than 21 calendar days, Duke will pay the lost time up to the maximum average weekly wage established by the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

Lost Work Time 21 Days Or Greater: If a compensable illness/injury results in lost time lasting more than 21 days the 7-day waiting period is waived and Duke will pay the lost time up to the maximum average weekly wage established by the North Carolina Industrial Commission from the first date of disability.

A staff member who reports an on-the-job injury, and seeks professional medical treatment resulting in his or her absence for the remainder of that work shift, will be paid as if he or she had worked a full shift, i.e. at his or her regular rate of pay, including all premiums. Ongoing medical care requiring time away from the department during regular work hours will be regarded as time worked. This medical care must be authorized by entity Employee Health.

Compensation payments continue until the staff member is no longer disabled as that term is defined by the NC Workers Compensation Act. Partial disability compensation is paid in the event that the staff member is able to return to work on a reduced schedule basis.

Cost Allocation

The staff member’s compensable salary will be charged to the Workers’ Compensation office providing the department complies with the policy and procedure outlined in “Reporting of Incident.” Failure of the department to comply with the requirements outlined herein may result in the department being responsible for 100 percent of the staff member’s compensation while the staff member is out on workers compensation for up to one year. Once the staff member is released to return to work the staff member’s department becomes responsible for the staff member’s compensation until the staff member is placed in a regular position, or the end of one year whichever occurs first.

In some instances a staff member will be released to return to work with restrictions or needed accommodations. In those instances, the staff member will be placed in the Return-to-Work Program. The staff member’s department is responsible for one hundred percent of the compensation for a staff member in the Return-to-Work Program until the staff member is placed in a suitable position or the end of one year whichever comes first.

Medical

In accordance with the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Institution is responsible for full payment of medical costs associated with a compensable injury providing treatment is obtained from entity’s Employee Health, or for urgent/life threatening injuries, staff members are to use the Duke, Durham Regional or Duke Raleigh Hospital Emergency Department. Medical attention needed outside the normal operating hours of the entity’s Employee Health (7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F) should be obtained from a Duke Urgent Care facility, or from Duke, Durham Regional, or Duke Raleigh Hospital Emergency Department.

A staff member obtaining medical care treatment outside of this network without pre-authorization by entity Employee Health or Workers' Compensation will be responsible for all medical fees associated with treatment.

Benefits

Duke will continue to make its contribution to health insurance, life insurance and the retirement program, provided, in the case of the insurance programs, the staff member continues his or her contribution to the plans. The staff member should contact the Benefits Office for additional information and assistance.

Policy Number: 10.10

Categories

Workplace Health & Safety Policy