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Civil Service Worker's Compensation Leave to Attend Medical Appointments

Applicability

This Advisory applies to all employees who have sustained a compensable injury or occupational disease under the Texas Workers' Compensation Act (1) and a line of duty injury under the Local Government Code, Chapter 143.073, and has a scheduled medical appointment (doctor or physical therapy) related to the compensable injury or occupational disease.

Policy (New)

Employees are allowed up to two (2) hours of paid time off as "Workers' Compensation Leave" (WCL) from work in order to attend a scheduled medical appointment related to the compensable injury or occupational disease under Texas Workers' Compensation Act. In the event the appointment requires the employee to stay longer than two hours at the medical appointment, additional WCL time will be allowed if the employee brings a note signed by the doctor or physical therapist that states the time of arrival and departure to and from the doctor or physical therapist's office. WCL shall be paid at the employee's regular rate of pay and does not count toward their 40-hour work week. Workers' Compensation Leave is not hours worked and does not count toward the number of hours worked for overtime purposes.

Interpretation

Below are several scenarios that provide guidance to employees, supervisors and timekeepers in the application of this policy.

Scenario 1: Employee is on limited duty because of a compensable workers' compensation claim, and has a doctor or physical therapy appointment during duty hours.

  • Question: Will the employee be paid for time to attend the medical appointment?
  • Answer: The employee will be allowed (2) hours of Workers' Compensation Leave (WCL) to attend a medical appointment (See also Scenario 5).

Scenario 2: Employee is off work and is receiving Disability Supplement Pay (DSP). Employee also wants to be paid additional DSP or WCL for time to attend medical appointments.

  • Question: Can the employee receive DSP or WCL for time to attend medical appointments in addition to full duty pay (DSP)?
  • Answer: If the employee is already receiving DSP, then additional pay for time to attend a doctor or physical therapy appointment is not allowed. The employee has been made whole by virtue of receipt of DSP full pay for civil service employees (2) , or in the case of a non-civil service employee, the employee is receiving temporary income benefits from workers' compensation and DSP if eligible.

Scenario 3: Employee works night shift limited duty and has doctor appointments during the day. Employee wants to be paid for time to attend doctor or physical therapy appointments during the day.

  • Question: Can the employee receive Workers' Comp Leave (WCL) or DSP for the medical appointments?
  • Answer: The employee is allowed up to two (2) hours WCL to attend a medical appointment during the day. In addition, the employee may receive the appropriate shift differential for the two (2) hours. (3) The employee will be required to modify the schedule to work two (2) hours less during the week of the appointment.

Scenario 4: Employee works day shift limited duty and has doctor appointments on his/her days off. The employee is paid 40 hrs REG for a normal shift. Employee wants to be paid for time to attend doctor/physical therapy appointments on days off, due to a compensable workers' compensation injury.

  • Question: Can the employee receive Workers' Comp Leave (WCL) or DSP for the medical appointments on days off?
  • Answer: The employee is allowed up to two (2) hours WCL to attend a medical appointment during the day on his/her day(s) off. The employee will be required to modify their work schedule to work two (2) hours less during the week of the appointment.

Scenario 5: Employee works day shift limited duty and has doctor or physical therapy appointments during duty hours. Appointments take more than 2 hours, which is beyond the normal policy to allow time off to attend the appointment. Employee wants to be paid for the full amount of time it takes to attend the appointment, which is more than 2 hours, and not be limited to 2 hours.

  • Question: Can the employee receive Workers' Comp Leave (WCL) for the medical appointments that require greater than 2 hours to attend?
  • Answer: The employee will be allowed up to two (2) hours of WCL to attend a medical appointment. If circumstances require the employee to stay longer than two (2) hours for the medical appointment, additional WCL time may be allowed if the employee brings a note signed by the doctor or physical therapist that state the time of arrival and time of departure. If applicable the employee is required to amend their work schedule and reduce time worked by the time approved to attend the medical appointment in the impacted work week. Additional paid time will be allowed to travel to and from the appointment if necessary with coordination through the employee's supervisor.

1 The Texas Workers' Compensation Act is codified in the Texas Labor Code, Title 5, Subtitle A. Return.

2 The Local Government Code requires a municipality to provide to a fire fighter or police officer a leave of absence for an illness or injury related to the person's line of duty. The leave is with full pay. The City of Fort Worth's Personnel Rules and Regulations provide that civil service employees, who are subject to Chapter 143, will receive full salary equivalent to AWW for up to one (1) year in accordance with Chapter 143 of the Texas Local Government Code for a leave commensurate with the nature of a compensable on the job injury. Full salary is defined as average weekly wage (AWW) of the employee and includes shift differential. If AWW is less than regular pay, (40) forty hours for Police Officers and (40) forty or (56) fifty-six hours for Firefighters, the employee will receive full salary pay while off work for an occupational injury. Therefore, if the employee is already receiving DSP, then additional pay for time to attend a doctor or physical therapy appointment is not allowed. Return.

3 The shift differential will need to be added to the pay line for payroll purposes. Return.

4 It has been the City's practice to provide up to two (2) hours of time away from work (WCL) to attend a workers' compensation medical appointment..

Contact

Address:

200 Texas St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102

Hours of Operation:

8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday

Contact Numbers:

  • Talent Acquisition: 817-392-7750
  • Fax: 817-392-8869
  • City of Fort Worth Employee Leave & Accrual Balance: 817-392-8989

Email:

HRWebmail@fortworthtexas.gov

ADA Email:

ada@fortworthtexas.gov

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