On The Job Injuries

Policy Number: IV.17
Policy Level: Operating Policy

Originally Issued: January 22, 2018
Reviewed:  June 2, 2020

Policy Owner: VP for Financial Affairs
Policy Implementation:  VP for Financial Affairs and Director of HR

I.  Policy Statement and Purpose

Athens State University strives to provide employees with a safe and healthy work place.  To support this effort, University employees are required to practice safe and healthy work habits.  The purpose of this policy is to notify employees of the appropriate method to manage and report workplace injuries and the process for continuance of salary and benefits due to on-the-job-injuries.

II.  Definitions

Employee – includes all full-time and part-time faculty, administrators, staff, and student workers (while performing services for the University).

On-the-Job Injury – An on-the-job-injury is any accident or injury to the employee occurring during the performance of duties or when directed or requested by the President or designee to be on the property of the University which prevents the employee from working or returning to his/her job.  Incidents that occur during rest breaks or lunch periods, accidents resulting from carelessness or violation of published safety rules, and injuries caused by the behavior of fellow employees are subject to the judgment of the President as to whether they are job related.  A job-related injury may be an injury caused by physical trauma (such as a broken bone or a laceration), or it may be an injury or malady caused by job-related stress (i.e., peptic ulcer, high blood pressure, heart ailment, etc.).

III. Reporting On-The-Job Injuries

All on-the-job-injuries or work-related illnesses regardless of severity must be immediately reported to the employee’s supervisor and campus security within twenty-four (24) hours after the occurrence of the injury.  Security personnel will complete an incident report and the employee or employee representative will complete the On-the-Job Injury/Illness Incident ReportFailure to provide timely, as set forth above, notice to the supervisor and/or failure to contact the Office of Human Resources may result in denial of any benefits under this policy to the employee. When the employee is not clinically able to affect such notice, notification may be made by a representative of the employee.  Said representative must be reasonably knowledgeable concerning the injury and the condition of the employee.

The President/designee shall inform, in writing, the employee who is injured on the job of the employee’s rights through the State Board of Adjustment (State Board of Adjustment) to claim unreimbursed medical expenses and costs incurred by the employee as a result of an on-the-job-injury.  Reimbursement to the employee shall be determined by the State Board of Adjustment’s policies, rules, and regulations.  Such notification by the President/designee shall be made within (30) calendar days of notification of the on-the-job-injury.

IV.  On-The-Job Injury Leave

In the event that an on-the-job-injury extending beyond the third (3rd) day of absence, a licensed physician’s certification, obtained at the employee’s expense, as to the injuries severity and prognosis and a reasonable expectation that the employee will be able to return to work is required. 

The President/designee may, within their discretion, require a second opinion from another licensed physician at the expense of the University.

The President/designee shall determine if granting on-the-job-injury leave is in the best interest of the University on the basis of such relevant factors as, but not limited to, the following:

  1. That there is clear and convincing evidence that the injury was job related;
  2. That the injury was not a result of intentional harm, carelessness, intoxication, provocation, or other inappropriate behavior of the injured employee;
  3. That the injury was not the result of a pre-existing condition;
  4. That there is not alternative work which the employee could perform in lieu of a temporary absence from work.

If any of the factors listed above, or any equally material and relevant factor, is not fully satisfied, then the President/designee may determine that it is not in the best interest of the University to approve the requested leave of absence.

If on-the-job-injury leave is approved, the employee may be granted a maximum of ninety (90) working days of paid leave in association with any medically necessary recovery period from the work related injury or illness regardless of their current sick leave hour’s balance.  In no event, shall the salary and benefits continuation exceed ninety (90) days for on-the-job injuries.  Sick leave shall not be deducted from the employee’s account if absence from work results from an on-the-job-injury.  However, sick leave may be earned while the employee is out of service due to on-the-job injuries.

V.  Responsibility for this Operating Policy

Policy Owner

As part of the initial approval of this policy by the President and subsequent to the original dissemination of the policy, the Vice President for Financial Affairs is the policy owner for the ongoing evaluation, review, and approval of this policy.  Subsequent reviews and revisions to this policy must be in accordance with approved operating policy procedures and processes.

This policy will be reviewed every two years or more frequently as needed by the Policy Owner.  Revisions will be reviewed/affirmed by the Cabinet and approved by the University President.  This policy will be updated/published in the University’s Policy Library.

Responsibility for Policy Implementation

The President has assigned the responsibility of implementing this policy to the Director of Human Resources.