I. General Policy
This policy applies to All Faculty, Staff, Students, and Volunteers Injured During the Course and Scope of Their Normal Employment.
Coverage and reports
Rice University maintains workers' compensation insurance coverage for the protection of individuals where an employer-employee relationship exists. The University, as required by law, notifies new employees of their option under the law to waive insurance coverage within five days of employment and to retain a common law right of action in place of relying on insurance.
An employee must report any injury or injury from an occupational disease to their supervisor or manager immediately. The employee's supervisor or another administrator must complete the First Report of Injury and immediately forward it to the Risk Manager for processing.
When an injury or occupational disease is deemed to be work related, workers' compensation insurance payments cover medical bills and compensation for lost time.
Payment for lost time
Employees who lose more than five work days (or the equivalent) as a result of a work related injury or occupational disease are placed on medical leave. For staff, the first week of absence (five work days) is covered by available benefit time. Beginning with the second week, lost time is paid by Worker's Compensation insurance according to legally established rates. Staff may also draw on available benefit time while drawing on Workers' Compensation payments.
Benefits while on leave
Employees who are eligible for benefits keep their insurance coverage as specified in the policy on medical leaves. Holiday pay and benefit time accumulations are discontinued during leaves.
Periodic reevaluation of condition
The insurance carrier may require the disabled employee to have an independent medical examination performed by a physician selected by the insurance company.
The employee shall have the right to have a physician or surgeon of their choice also present at such examinations. All fees are paid by the insurance company.
Return to work
In order to return to work, an employee must submit a statement from their physician authorizing the return and listing any restrictions or limitations.
Return to limited hours
Should an employee be permitted to return to a reduced number of hours, Workers' Compensation continues to pay a portion of lost wages in an amount determined by law.
For a three-month period following the date of return, the employee coming back to a reduced work schedule will remain eligible to participate in the same benefits and insurance programs that were carried before and during the period of absence for work-related disability.
At the end of the three-month period, if the employee has returned or is scheduled to return to the number of hours worked before their injury, benefits continue without interruption. If not, then eligibility for participation in benefits will be determined by the number of hours actually worked according to the provisions of each policy.
Restricted duty/Light Duty
Rice University will make every reasonable attempt to accommodate an employee whose physician has said that the employee can return to work only if some restrictions are followed. However, the University cannot guarantee return to the former position or creation of a new job. The employee will be considered for any available position for which they are qualified.
When an employee has suffered a compensable injury that disables them from performing customary responsibilities, Rice University will consider transfer of the employee to a suitable position if such a position is available.
All absences due to an alleged industrial incident will be investigated thoroughly. Claims found to be fraudulent will be cause for immediate dismissal of the claim and reasonable grounds for termination of employment.
II. Responsible Official and Key Offices to Contact Regarding the Policy and its Implementation
Responsible Official: Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration
Key Office: Human Resources, Risk Management
January 10, 2018
September 30, 2022 (Updated responsible official)
February 1, 2023
August 15, 2023