Worker’s Compensation

Workers Compensation is defined as any injury or illness that arises out of or in the course of employment. Such injuries entitle workers to benefits under NYS Worker’s Compensation Law. Different employers have different policies regarding notification of the injury and return to work policies. Each member should consult their own contract for such information. Below we have listed important facts concerning Worker’s Comp. claims for our two largest employers. If you have any questions, please contact the Union Office. Any worker in NYS seeking Worker’s Comp should keep detailed documentation of the injury and your follow up care.

We encourage all of our members to contact the Workers Comp attorneys we retain to represent our members as soon as possible after sustaining an injury. It is better to contact them and not need legal representation, than to find that you require such representation at a later date. Lipsitz, Green, Scime, and Cambria can be reached at 716-849-1313.

KALEIDA MEMBERS
The following is an excerpt from your contract. Please refer to the full contract, or call the office with questions.

Article 40
Workers’ Compensation

Section 2.      The procedure to follow after a workplace injury or illness occurs includes the following:

  • An employee must be under the care of a health care provider who certifies that the employee is unable to work due to an injury or illness that did arise out of or in the course of employment. The employee will be required to report to the Corporate Employee Health office for an evaluation as soon as practical with a target of three (3) business days from the occurrence leading to the work related injury/illness.
  • The employee must notify his/her manager of the workplace injury/illness as soon as possible, but no later than thirty (30) days as per NYSWCL. The supervisor on duty will be responsible to complete the supervisor’s investigative report along with the employee via STARS web application or an incident report when STARS is not available. The employee will be provided with a copy of the STARS report at that time.
  • The employee must notify his/her manager as soon as possible if his/her injury is disabling and he/she isunable to work. The manager will report the claim to the Employer’s claim administrator; within forty-eight (48) hours from when the claim is reported.  The employee will be sent a workers’ compensation claim package.
  • When an employee is required to report to the corporate Employee Healthoffice or for an independent medical exam, the cost of transportation will be reimbursed on the basis of the mileage involved and the rate of reimbursement currently in existence.
  • The Workers’ Compensation claims administrator will keep the employee updated on the claim status and any need for further medical documentation in a timely manner.

CWA encourages members to use COEM for all occupational and environmental health problems or concerns. CWA reminds all members that you SHOULD NOT use employee health as your Worker’s Compensation Physician. While some employers suggest using their practitioners as an option, this has proven to be problematic in many cases. COEM is a terrific neutral, third party option! It is open Monday through Friday from 9:00AM – 5:00 PM and can be reached by phone at 716-898-5858.

Article 40
Workers’ Compensation

Section 10.    An employee who is cleared to return to work by his or her provider will follow the procedure outlined below:

  • An employee must produce certification from a health care provider that the employee is able to return to work and resume the full responsibility of his/her position. The certification must be submitted to the Employer’s Workers’ Compensation disability claims administrator.
  • The employee may be required to pass a fit for duty examination by the Employer’s Employee Health Department prior to being authorized to return to work. Such fit for duty examination will be scheduled and completed within three (3) business days of the provided medical certification allowing the employees to return to work.
  • If the employee has any restrictions that make him/her unable to perform his/her regular duties or his/her regular hours of work, the employee’s manager will be notified and the manager will review the employee’s return to work in conjunction with Article 34, Restricted Duty Program, with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • If there is no work on the employee’s unit/department, the Employer will keep a current list of restricted duty jobs that are available throughout the system. It is understood that the injured employee will not be replacing another bargaining unit member.
  • If the employee does not or is unable to return to work after his/her work related injury/illness or apply for an unpaid leave of absence by the date the employee’s health provider releases the employee to return to active work status, or by the end of the seventy-eighth (78th) consecutive week of a period of absence for a work related injury/illness, the employee will be considered to have resigned from active employment consistent with Article 50, Seniority, Section 3.
  • If an employee is classified for restricted duty and no work is available at Kaleida Health he/she may work outside Kaleida Health, within the limits of the restrictions noted, and, if so, may not be terminated.

ST. JOE’S MEMBERS
The following is an excerpt from your contract. Please refer to the full contract, or call the office with questions.

Article 33
Disability and Workers’ Compensation

Section 1.      Time off the job for post-probationary associate absences related to New York State Disability and New York State Workers’ Compensation claims will be granted by the Employer upon submission of a claim to the Third Party Administrator accompanied by documentation from the employee’s physician, which confirms that the employee’s medical condition prevents him/her from performing his/her job.  In situations where an employee, because of an unexpected medical condition, is unable to complete the claim and furnish the appropriate documentation in advance, a disability leave will be granted upon such submission at a later date.  Documentation from the employee’s physician shall normally be provided within three (3) weeks or as soon as available.

Section 2.      Time off the job for an illness or injury for New York State Workers’ Compensation Leaves shall not exceed seventy eight (78) weeks.  Time off for New York State Disability leaves shall not exceed fifty-four (54) weeks. There will be no loss of seniority while an employee is on disability or workers’ compensation leave.

Section 3.      Employees on approved disability or workers’ compensation shall continue to receive baselife insurance benefits at no cost to the employee and shall continue to receive health insurance benefits on the same basis as prior to the leave until the expiration of any paid leave time or for a period of six (6) months, whichever is shorter.  Thereafter, the employee may continue to participate in group health insurance at his/her own expense (COBRA).  Employees who remaindisabled after six (6)months will be placed on an inactive employment list and all accrued PTO will be paid out.

Section 4.      An employee returning from disability or workers’ compensation shall contact IDM at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the expected return date.  The notice period shall be reduced when an employee is released by her/his physician on short notice.

Section 5.      Employees may return to work prior to the scheduled expiration date of their leave after complying with the notification requirements and upon producing medical attestation, if applicable.

Section 6.      The Employer may require an employee returning from a disability or workers’ compensation leave to submit to a medical examination within seventy-two (72) hours of the anticipated return to work, at no expense to the employee, before returning to work.  Should there be a difference of medical opinion between the employee’s physician and the Employer’s physician regarding the ability of the employee to return to work, a third medical opinion shall be solicited from a physician chosen by the mutual agreement of the employee’s physician and the Employer’s physician.  The cost of the additional examination shall be borne by the Employer.

Please keep in mind that FMLA runs concurrent with Worker’s Comp so all time out on WC counts toward time used with FMLA.

Helpful Websites