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WORKER'S COMPENSATION

Sections 5-142(b) and 5-143 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides for the optional use of accumulated Sick Leave by state employees receiving Workers' Compensation which when combined with the Workers' Compensation will result in the employee receiving an amount equivalent to their full base salary as defined below. The Master Contract extended this option to include the use of other types of accrued leave. Pursuant to Public Act 78-367, General Letter Number 192 and Office of Labor Relations General Notice Number 78-18 granted this extended benefit to managerial and confidential employees and appointed officials.

The amount due to the eligible employee who chooses to exercise this option must be computed on an hourly basis. In order that a standard procedure be applied, the following information is issued:

DEFINITIONS

Academic Calendar: The term "academic calendar" applies to the state employees assigned to an educational institution or school district whose work schedule is based strictly on the school calendar. For ten month, full-time employees, such schedules require a set number of specific working days during the regular school year. These normally run from 180 to 188 days). For twelve month full-time employees, a summer session must be worked in addition to the set days designated during the regular school year. In all cases, the employee is not eligible to accrue vacation but is assigned time off consistent with predetermined school vacation periods. Generally, whether the employee is assigned to a ten month or twelve month schedule, their salary is paid over a twelve month period.

Salary: The basic rate of pay being received by the employee in accordance with the applicable compensation plan in effect at the time of the injury or disease. The hourly rate of pay for the step of the salary group will be used as the basis for computation of the amount of time to be charged against accumulated leave. The weekly salary shall be one-half of the bi-weekly rate of the schedule rounded off to the next nearest penny.

Work Week: For purposes of standardization, each employee's workweek shall be defined by the applicable compensation plan. For employees assigned to pay plans based on a 35 hour workweek, a work day is considered to be seven hours. For employees assigned to a 40-hour compensation plan, a work day is defined as eight hours. Employees assigned to a 36-1/4 hour compensation plan shall have their day defined as 7-1/4 hour and so forth. This applies whether the employee is on a standard Friday through Thursday work schedule, an averaging schedule or an academic schedule.

    1. For injuries sustained prior to October 1, 1991, the employee shall remain on the regular payroll for the first seven (7) calendar days of incapacity. No charges shall be made to accumulate sick, vacation or personal leave time during these seven days. The employee's records will indicate a full work day on the day of injury. Medical documentation is required for the first seven days of incapacity.

      The use of accrued leave to supplement the workers' compensation amount may begin on the eighth day after injury, provided the employee has exercised this option in accordance with items three and four of this policy.

    2. In accordance with Public Act 91-339, for injuries sustained on or after October 1, 1991, no workers' compensation for lost wages shall be paid until the employee has been totally or partially incapacitated for more than three calendar days, excluding the day of injury. The employee's records shall indicate a full work day on the day of injury. Workers' compensation for lost wage will begin commencing with the fourth calendar day of incapacity. The employee's accrued sick leave balances shall be charged to cover the work days lost during the initial three day period for which workers' compensation will not be paid. However, if such incapacity continues for more than six days, commencing with the seventh day, the employee shall be eligible for workers' compensation for lost wages retroactive to the first day of absence following the date of injury. The employee's sick leave balances shall be adjusted following payroll reconciliation of any overpayment which may occur when such workers' compensation benefit is applied retroactively to day one. Medical documentation is required for all periods of incapacity.

      The use of accrued leave to supplement the workers' compensation amount may begin on the first day covered by such award provided the employee has exercised this option in accordance with items three and four of this policy.

  1. Prior to authorizing the use of accumulated leave with workers' compensation, the agency must confirm the following:
    1. the employee has completed the form CO-715 (Request for use of Accrued Leave with Workers' Compensation) consistent with item four (4) below;
    2. the employee has the accrued time;
    3. a determination of workers' compensation has been made; or
    4. a determination has not been made but the appropriate injury claim form has been filed and the supporting medical documentation (PER .WC 208, Attending Physicians Report of Injury) has been received. Once the compensation award is made, the employee must repay the state for any overpayment which occurred during this interim period in order to adjust their leave balances.
  2. The employee must elect either to receive or not to receive accrued leave benefits at the beginning of the compensation period. The election is made on form CO-715, in triplicate, and signed by the employee. It may be renewed for each recurrence if the employee still has accrued leave to their credit. If the employee elects to receive accrued leave benefits, it must be in the amount which, together with their compensation award, will result in their receiving their full basic salary, as defined in item 1. Once made, the election cannot be revoked and must be in effect until either the accumulated leave runs out or the employee returns to work.

    NOTE: An employee's choice of election may be governed by an applicable collective bargaining agreement which stipulates the use of accrued leave. Always check the applicable contract before a CO-715 is issued to the employee.

  3. Computation: Inasmuch as the statutes require computation on an hourly basis, all accrued leave benefits must be converted accordingly. Once the accrual amount payable under Workers' Compensation has been established, the accrued leave difference shall remain unchanged throughout the period of the employee's absence from work, unless the basic compensation award is revised.

    CONVERSION OF ACCUMULATED LEAVE

    EXAMPLE

    Employees accumulated sick leave* on date of injury
    Multiply by value of average work day (consistent with
    the applicable pay plan)
    60 days
    X 7 hours
    420 hours
    Employee's weekly salary (one-half of bi-weekly)
    (salary group 9, step 1 of an expired pay plan is
    used as the example)
    Less compensation weekly award
    Supplemental amount needed for full basic salary
    $ 143.00
    - 95.90
    $ 47.96
    Hourly rate (SG 9, Step 1) - 4.12
    Weekly charge to be deducted from accumulated sick
    leave to nearest quarter hour ($47.96 divided by 4.12)
    11 3/4 hours

    *Separate totals should be calculated for other leave balances to facilitate record keeping.

  4. Accrued leave benefits to which an employee is entitled are limited to the amount accumulated as of the date of injury or disease. Under certain conditions, additional accrued leave may be applied as defined in item seven. Subsequent changes in base salary do not affect the entitlement or the basic charge against accumulated leave as of the date of injury or disease. All actions affecting basic pay are to be processed in the usual manner. If the employee returns to work and has a recurrence, the rate of pay will be that which is received upon return to work and the weekly charge is to be recomputed using the new basic hourly rate.
  5. The employee must be away from work and receiving compensation to be eligible to apply accrued leave benefits. The degree of disability is not a factor. The effect of a lump sum compensation award or of a medical determination of partial disability will be determined on an individual case basis. If compensation is denied, the employee may use accrued sick leave for the period involved provided that the medical documentation justifies the absence from work. If the denial is appealed, the agency head should request the State's Third Party Administrator to route any awards through the agency in order to adjust sick leave balances and payroll records in accordance with the decision.
  6. The employee shall be credited with the regular monthly accrual for Sick and Vacation Leave during the first twelve months of Workers' Compensation. No further accruals can be credited beyond the end of this period of time. Sick and vacation leave accrued during the first twelve months may be applied to computation of the accrued leave difference while the employee is out on Workers' Compensation. Holidays and/or executive time off occurring while the employee is on Workers' Compensation shall not be recognized as such and the accrued leave portion, therefore, shall continue to be charged for these days. For employees assigned to an academic calendar (i.e., State School Teachers, State School Instructors, etc.), no charge against the employee's accrued leave balances shall be made during school vacation periods, except for holidays occurring during such periods. Early closings or late openings due to inclement weather or other emergency shall be treated as regularly scheduled workdays, and the employee's accrued leave balances shall be charged on such days. However, because full day school closings must be made up later in the academic year, the employee's balances shall not be charged for such days.
  7. A form PER-201 will be submitted to the DAS/Personnel Division when reporting a compensation action. A copy of the CO-715 must be attached indicating the employee's election concerning the use of accrued leave. The employee's attendance and leave records must be posted to reflect the appropriate charges.

NEW PAYROLL DEDUCTION CODE AND PROCEDURE FOR RECOVERY
OF OVERPAYMENTS ON WORKERS' COMPENSATION

A voluntary payroll deduction has been implemented to recover overpayments made to state employees while on workers' compensation.

If a state employee has been notified of an overpayment or "wage match" hit with regards to workers' compensation, the employee may choose to repay the amount via this voluntary payroll deduction method.

PROCEDURES

The employee must obtain the payroll deduction form from DAS/Personnel, Workers' Compensation Unit.

Upon receipt of the agreement between Workers' Compensation and the employee, the employing agency will process the payroll deduction form.

The new D/OE code is 8-D, Workers' Compensation Recovery, sort code 00202.


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