Human Resources

Worker's Compensation

Policy Information
  • Issue Date: December 1, 1997
  • Primary Contact: Director of Human Resources
  • Responsible Member of Directorate: President and Director
  • Responsible Office: Human Resources
Policy Information

I. General
A. All Institution employees, except Masters and crew members of the research vessels, are covered by the Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Act for injuries and illnesses arising out of and in the course of their employment.

B. The law provides benefits for loss of wages due to temporary or permanent disability, as well as payment for hospital and medical expenses. These payments are made by the Institution's insurance carrier.

C. State law requires that work-related injuries be reported to the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.

II. Accident Reports

A. The employee must report immediately any work-related injury or illness to his/her supervisor.

B. The supervisor must complete an Accident Investigation Report Form and forward it to the Safety Office within 24 hours of the incident.

C. Late reporting may prejudice the employee's claim and result in delayed payments or loss of benefits.

III. Benefits
A. The payment from the insurance carrier for loss of wages is generally up to two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage for the 52-week period prior to the date of the injury. The maximum for this payment is equal to the average weekly wage in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This amount is adjusted annually on October 1.

B. The benefit is not payable until after the fifth lost workday. An absence of less than five workdays may be covered by Occasional Illness if eligible.

C. There may be additional weekly benefits for a spouse, or dependent children under 18 years of age.

D. If the schedule for Occasional Illness, Short-Term Disability (STD) and Long-Term Disability dictates a greater benefit, the difference between the wage replacement from workers' compensation and the scheduled Occasional Illness benefit will be paid as Occasional Illness (see 4.D below).

E. Medical expenses, including hospital, physician, prescription medication, appliances, and physical therapy are covered.

F. Broken eyeglasses or dentures may be covered under special circumstances defined in the law.

G. Other personal property, such as clothing, jewelry, etc., is not covered.

H. While in a workers' compensation status, an employee does not accrue vacation time unless work is resumed on a part-time basis. If this occurs, vacation will then be earned according to Definitions/Types of Employment .

IV. Procedure
A. Report the incident immediately.

B. Regardless of the time the incident occurs, the date is recorded as a day worked on the employee's time card.

C. If the employee is losing time from work due to the incident, the time card should be forwarded immediately to the Human Resources Office. This and subsequent time cards will be completed by the Human Resources Office until the employee returns to work.

D. If the injured employee is entitled to a greater benefit income under the schedule for Occasional Absences, the time reported on the time card will be the difference between the eligible employee's normal wage base and the wage replacement income paid by the insurance carrier.

E. Workers' compensation benefits generally are not payable for absences of less than a full work day. Hours away from work for visits to clinics, physicians, therapy, etc. of less than a full work day should be reported on the time card as occasional absence.

V. Miscellaneous
A. The employee should not give his/her group health insurance number when seeking treatment for a work-related injury or illness. Such claims will be rejected at a later date possibly resulting in delayed processing of claims.

B. The employee is to send any medical bills for laboratory work, diagnostic testing, doctor's office visits and hospital Emergency Room care or in-patient admission relative to the work-related injury or illness to the Human Resources Office.

C. The employee has freedom of choice of hospital or physician, but may be required to be examined by another physician selected by the insurance carrier or the Institution.

D. Questions about benefits or status under Workers' Compensation should be addressed to the Human Resources Office.

Should you require assistance in the interpretation  of this procedure, please contact your Human Resources Representative.

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