SECTION:                  Employee Support
SUBJECT:                 Workers' Compensation
EFFECTIVE DATE:   February 1, 2012 Revised
PAGE(S):                   2


      This policy establishes the responsibility of the University, as defined by the Pennsylvania

      Workers' Compensation Act (PA WC Act), to compensate employees for injuries sustained,

      or exposure to an occupational disease hazard during the course of employment.

      This policy also establishes guidelines for modified duty work for employees who are

      receiving Workers’ Compensation lost wage replacement so they may perform productive

      work within the functional limitations imposed by a work injury or illness.

      In compliance with the provisions of the PA WC Act, the University is permitted to self-insure

      its workers’ compensation liabilities.

      Therefore, the University retains a third-party claims administrator (TPA) to administer WC

      payments as defined by the PA WC Act and as managed through the University’s Office of

      Risk Management, Insurance & Workers’ Compensation (ORMI).


      Faculty, staff, and certain student employees who believe they have sustained a work-related

      injury, illness, or disease which prevents them from performing their regular assigned duties,

      may be eligible for partial wage loss and reasonable, necessary and related medical services

      and supplies.

      Volunteers are not eligible for Workers' Compensation.  Students who are performing functions

      to fulfill a financial aid obligation or to fulfill educational objectives may not be considered

      employees for the purposes of Workers’ Compensation.

     Program Administration

      It is the responsibility of the Office of Risk Management, Insurance & Workers' Compensation

      (ORMI) to oversee the University’s administration and management of the Workers’

      Compensation program in accordance with state regulations.  ORMI consults with the Office

      of General Counsel on claims as appropriate and delegates claims administration to a third-

      party claims administrator (TPA).  The University’s Workers’ Compensation program’s

      primary goals are the resolution of claims and the safe and timely return of employees to


      Reporting an Injury

      Employees or their supervisor must report any illness, injury, or disease that is believed to

      have arisen from the performance of one’s job duties to the TPA and their supervisor

      immediately.  Failure to report the injury immediately may jeopardize the Workers'

      Compensation claim.

      Detailed directions for reporting a potential work injury or illness are located at  See Procedure 07-06-02, Workers’ Compensation.

     Medical Treatment

      For medical payments to be considered by the TPA, non-emergency treatment must be

      obtained through the providers listed on the University’s Health Care Provider Panel – Form C.  Initial medical care for a medical emergency may

      be obtained at the nearest emergency medical facility.  The employee must treat with a

      panel provider for 90 days from the date of the first panel provider visit.

      The University has a Panel list for each campus.  Employees may choose a provider from

      any Panel list.  If an employee opts to change providers, they must notify the TPA within

      five (5) days.  Reasonable, related, and necessary medical costs will be paid subject to

      review by the TPA in accordance with the PA WC Act.

      Employees’ Rights and Responsibilities under the PA WC Act are available on Employee

      Acknowledgement of Rights & Duties – Form D at

      Lost Time Wage Payments

      Pursuant to state law and TPA claim acceptance, a waiting period is applicable before lost

      time wage replacement is available.  You must be disabled more than seven (7) calendar

      days (including weekends) before WC payments for disability are payable.  Lost time wage

      payments are payable on the eighth (8th) day after injury.  Once you have been off work

      fourteen (14) days, you receive retroactive payment for the first seven (7) days.  Please

      consult with the Office of Human Resources for guidance on use of benefit days, such as

      sick, vacation, FMLA, etc., to cover any unpaid Workers’ Compensation during this waiting


      If an employee returns to work at wages less than the time of injury average weekly wage,

      partial wage replacement may be continued as dictated by state law and administered through

      the TPA.

      Return to Work

      The ORMI and TPA will work closely with the employee’s Department as needed to assist

      with the return to work process, at full, modified or alternative work.  In cases where the

      employee is unable to return to his/her time of injury job, the availability of modified duty

      work is usually considered temporary in nature, and is geared toward the successful return

      to full duty responsibilities.  When necessary, the University may assign modified duty work

      within or outside of the department or school to which the injured worker is regularly

      assigned, based upon a review of transferable skills, education, training, work experience,

      and applicable collective bargaining agreements.

      The employee is responsible for maintaining contact with their department supervisor,

      especially regarding any change in medical status or restrictions, following a medical

      appointment related to their work injury/illness.  In the event the employee is released to

      work at anything less than his/her pre-injury job demands, it is the Department’s responsibility

      to consider the availability of modified duty work given the injured worker’s specific restrictions,

      job functions, and potential temporary accommodations.


      Procedure 07-06-02, Workers' Compensation