Human Resources

Worker's Compensation

What is covered by Worker's Compensation?

Medical expenses related to the treatment of your work related injury or illness are covered under worker's compensation. This includes doctor, hospital, physical therapy, prescription medication and equipment.

Worker's compensation will pay for wages lost as a result of your injury or illness. Your absence must be related to your work injury and authorized by your doctor. Compensation is determined according to State statute and is subject to a three day waiting period. Worker's compensation disability payments are approximately two thirds of your average weekly wage and are non taxable income.

If you are unable to return to your pre-injury job after recovering from your work related injury or illness, you may be determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.

Who is eligible?

If you were performing activities that the university pays you to do and are injured while working on the job. If you’re unsure of your employment status, contact HR directly (hr@willamette.edu) to determine specific eligibility.

What do I do if I'm hurt on the job?

1. Notify your supervisor as soon as possible. In the event of a serious injury, Campus Safety should be called at 6911. Please complete a Form 801 (First Report Occupational Injury or Disease) with the Office of Human Resources (HR) immediately. Send the completed form to HR.

2. Tell your doctor that you were injured on the job. Medical bills should be sent to worker's compensation (not your health insurance plan). Please collect receipts for out of pocket expense, such as prescription medication and equipment, and submit to HR for reimbursement under worker's compensation.

3. If you are unable to work as a result of your injury, notify your supervisor. Keep your supervisor informed of your progress and anticipated return to work date. You must provide your supervisor and HR with a doctor's note which authorizes your absence from work.

4. If you are able to work part time or can work with temporary job modification please notify your supervisor and HR. A temporary modified duty work agreement must be completed. This agreement specifies your doctor's restrictions and temporary work assignment as well as the time period your doctor recommends the restrictions should remain in place.

5. Additional forms and contact with the insurance adjustor may be necessary. Your claim is subject to investigation by the university's insurance adjustor. Complete all requested forms and return them to HR as quickly as possible.

What happens if I'm hurt on the job? (Publication of Oregon Workers' Compensation Division)

What are my responsibilities as a supervisor?

1. Please make sure your employee completes a Form 801 (First Report Occupational Injury or Disease) and send it to HR as soon as possible. If the employee is not able to complete the form, please help them to complete the form to the best of your ability.

2. Communicate with HR. Please keep us posted if you have information relative to the worker's compensation claim. For example, if your employee is unable to work, or when they return to work, following a work related injury or illness.

3. Communicate with your employee. Ask how they are doing, when they expect to come back to work, and keep them involved with what is happening at work. Statistics indicate this contact with the work place can help your employee in recovering from their injury or illness.

4. Consider providing temporary modified duty, which will allow your employee to return to work. Often, an employee who is unable to perform their usual work tasks can work in some capacity. View the necessary work tasks with a creative eye, or identify special projects the employee may be able to work on. Consider allowing your employee to return to work on a part time basis.

How does Worker's Compensation work?

When HR receives Form 801 (First Report Occupational Injury or Disease), we send a copy to Empire Pacific Risk Management, Inc. Empire is the University's claims adjustment service. They investigate all claims and determine whether to accept a claim. Empire also processes payments for medical expenses and disability payments for work time lost.

Empire Pacific Risk Management, Inc.
12665 SW 69th Ave
Tigard, OR 97223

kim.hoang@empirepac.com
Phone: (503) 968-6300
Fax: (503) 968-6305

What happens if I don’t miss any work?

The claim is set up to make payment for any medical expenses related to the injury or illness. Please tell your health care provider to send the bills to Empire Pacific for payment under worker's compensation.

What happens if I need a medical leave to recover?

Your absence must be authorized by your treating professional. You must be out of work for three days (excluding the day of injury) before worker's compensation pays for work time lost. The three day wait includes weekends and holidays. Disability payments are calculated as follows:

  • If you lose 1-3 days of work, no temporary disability payments will be made.
  • If you lose 4-9 days, temporary disability will begin with day four. Therefore, if you are out more than four days, you are paid by Worker's Compensation beginning with day 4, and the University pays any accrued leave for the first 3 days the employee is out.
  • If you are out 10 consecutive days or more, Worker's Compensation disability payments will begin with day one of the absence.

The temporary disability payments are based on the wages you earned in the 12 weeks prior to the date of injury. The payments are 2/3 of the average wage, per week. The payments are tax-free and subject to limits set by the state.

What do I do when I’m ready to return to work?

A release from your doctor stating that you are able to return to work is required before you return. If you can return to work on a part time basis, Worker's Comp will cover the time you cannot work and the university pays for the time you can work, for a total not to exceed 2/3 of your gross pay.

If you have follow-up appointments related to the injury or illness, than your medical leave should not be used for the time away from work. The employer (your department) bears the cost associated with absence related to follow up medical care. You must notify your supervisor of the appointment as far in advance as possible, and should try to schedule appointments at a time they will have the least impact on the function of your department. If necessary, your supervisor can request written verification of the appointment from you.

Early Return-to-Work (ERTW) Program 

Purpose

The purpose of the ERTW Program is to facilitate a timely and smooth transition back to regular work for employees who have reported an on-the job illness or injury. We hope our employees never have an accident or suffer any injury as a result of employment with our company.  However, should an employee become injured, it is Willamette's policy to have the employee return to work no later than the next day if possible.

The ERTW Program is designed to be a transitional process offering temporary, modified-duty work assignments, as available, and/or to modify the work site or the employee's regular job duties, if possible, to achieve the employee's return to full-time, regular work. While on temporary, modified-duty work assignments, the employee will continue to receive his or her regular rate of pay. Willamette's goal is to help injured employees maintain their income during reasonable recovery periods and to keep them valued members of our team.

Eligibility Criteria

Willamette University shall, where possible, if work is available, and at the discretion of management, provide a transitional, modified-duty work assignment for those employees who have been injured on the job and the injury would result in lost time from work.

Willamette University reserves the right to modify, change, or discontinue the transitional work assignment or other conditions of the ERTW Program at any time.

Procedure

When an employee reports an on-the-job injury or illness, the employee shall contact the direct supervisor immediately. The employee may be given certain forms by the supervisor and may be sent to a physician for an examination and/or treatment.

 If the attending physician outlines in writing temporary work restrictions or conditions for transitional work, Willamette University will make every attempt to provide a transitional, modified-duty work assignment as available to assist the employee in their return to normal duties. The employee may be asked to take a work task description to his/her attending physician for review in order to obtain a work release.

Employee's Responsibilities

The employee agrees to make every reasonable effort to return to the workplace as soon as possible. Any employee who seeks medical treatment for an on- the-job injury or illness must make the attending physician aware of Willamette University's ERTW program and the opportunity of modified work assignments. 

 If the attending physician removes the employee from work, the employee must notify the supervisor as soon as possible. The employee will be required to contact his/her supervisor weekly when off work in order to facilitate Willamette University's ability to identify medically appropriate work assignments.

When the employee receives a return-to-work release from his/her attending physician, the employee must notify the supervisor immediately, but no later than before the next workday. This will enable Willamette University to locate appropriate work assignments as quickly as possible for the employee.

 ERTW Forms

Safe Work Environment

Willamette University is committed to providing a safe environment for employees as well as the students we are here to educate, not just because it is a legal obligation, but because we care about the well being of each member of our staff. We will make every effort to make this commitment a reality by providing adequate training to our staff and identifying and correcting unsafe conditions as a matter of practice. We will be proactive in ensuring a safe University community for all.

The safety of our campus is everyone's responsibility. If you notice a condition or activity on campus that you feel may create issues of concern for your safety, or that of your your co-workers, students, or the public in general, you should report the condition to your supervisor, the Facilities Services department, Campus Safety or Human Resources at once.

Willamette University maintains policies specifying guidelines for appropriate conduct and disciplinary action.  As with all violations of policy, violations of safety policies may subject employees to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.  The University follows typical procedures for progressive discipline, generally providing for warnings before such action is taken.  We do not wish this policy to discourage employees from coming forward about real and legitimate safety concerns, but egregious violations that have the potential to cause very serious harm to Willamette community members will be taken very seriously.  The University reserves the right to determine on a case by case basis the seriousness of the violation and the level of disciplinary action.   

Phone numbers for reporting unsafe conditions follow:

  • Facilities Services: ext. 6135
  • Campus Safety: ext. 6911
  • Human Resources: ext. 6210

Safety Committee Webpage