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403.31 - Workers' Compensation Injury/Illness on the Job

Any employee reporting a work-related injury or illness will receive immediate and appropriate medical treatment. All applicable federal, state, and local laws or regulations pertaining to occupational injuries or illnesses will be followed and complied with at all times.

Reporting: It is the responsibility of all employees to immediately report in writing to their supervisor all work-related injuries or illnesses regardless of how insignificant or minor the injury or illness may appear at the time. Employee work injury report forms are provided for this purpose and may be obtained from building supervisors or the Human Resources office. The supervisor will then complete a supervisor’s investigation report within 48 hours of the injury. Failure to report an injury or illness as required by state law and district policy could result in loss or delay of compensation benefits and possibly lead to corrective action up to and including termination.

An approved physician from a designated treatment center must treat the injured employee. Specialists will be assigned by the district in certain cases. Any treatment other than that approved by the district may not be compensable.

Injuries occurring in the course of employment are paid for by Workers’ Compensation insurance. Workers’ Compensation insurance pays all medical costs without a deductible provision and is paid for exclusively by the district. There are well-defined provisions that must be met to ensure that employees qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Work-related injuries or illnesses must be immediately reported in writing to the employee’s supervisor. The Workers’ Compensation insurer [or designee] will investigate all late reported claims. Where facts cannot be verified, the claim will be denied. Any claim for an injury or illness caused by an employee’s willful misconduct, alcohol or drug usage, or that occurs during the employee’s voluntary participation in any off-duty recreational, social, or athletic activity sponsored by the district will not be compensable. Workers’ Compensation fraud is a felony punishable by fines and/or jail time. The district will prosecute any individual found to be claiming a work-related illness or injury fraudulently.

Benefits: There are two types of Workers’ Compensation benefits paid to an employee with a work-related injury or illness. These are medical and wage replacement benefits. 

Medical benefits include the following:

  • Physician’s fees or health care provider fees: the approved physician or health care provider who provides treatment is paid through the workers’ compensation insurer.
  • Hospital fees: paid in full.
  • Pharmacy costs: paid in full if prescribed by an approved physician.
  • Special costs: any other medical costs including but not limited to braces, crutches, physical therapy, and rehabilitation therapy if deemed necessary by an approved physician or health care provider will be paid in full according to state law.

In the event the injury is of the nature that requires outside medical treatment, employees will use personal illness leave for the first three days following the injury. The insurance company will not pay for the first three days of absence until after the employee’s absence exceeds 14 days.

Workers’ Compensation laws provide for a waiting period of three days before injured employees become eligible for wage replacement benefits. Employees will be covered for the period of disability to the limit allowed under the state Workers’ Compensation law.

Wage replacement benefits are paid by the Workers’ Compensation carrier during the time employees are temporarily disabled because of a work-related injury or illness. Employees receive a percentage of their salary as set by state law.

A public employer shall not supplement an employee’s Workers’ Compensation benefits by reducing the employee’s sick leave, vacation leave, or earned compensatory time entitlements unless the employer first notifies the employee of their options to supplement and the employee elects to so supplement. A signed document indicating the employee’s options is required by the district (Refer to Policy 403.31-E).

Employees who decline temporary modified duty in order to return to work from a leave of absence due to a Workers’ Compensation injury will be considered to have resigned and will be terminated. Any employee refusing temporary modified duty for which they are qualified will not be eligible for benefits under Workers’ Compensation regardless of their family, medical, or district extended leave status.

An employee who fails to return to work after being released by an approved physician will be considered to have resigned and will be terminated.

Adopted: 2/09
Reviewed: 12/11; 4/13; 6/20
Revised: 3/11; 9/14; 8/17; 4/23
Related Policy: 403.31-E
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 85; 279.40; 613.17