Use of Major Medical Leave while on Workers' Compensation
This Advisory applies to all general employees who have sustained a compensable injury or occupational disease under the Texas Workers' Compensation Act (1) and is taken off work by a medical doctor related to the compensable injury or occupational disease.
Police officers and fire fighters receive full pay for a line of duty injury leave of absence under Local Government Code, §143.073 and therefore, this policy does not apply to those groups.
Below are several scenarios that provide guidance to employees, supervisors and timekeepers in the application of this policy.
Currently, general employees of the City of Fort Worth who sustain work-related injuries receive benefits through the City's Self-Insured Workers' Compensation Program that cover approximately 70% of their income (pre-injury average weekly wage) during their initial recovery. In addition, the City provides a salary supplement for eligible employees at the following levels based upon the employee's length of service with the City:
- Greater than 10 years = 100% of the gap *
- 5 to 10 years = 75% of the gap
- Six months to 5 years = 50% of the gap
- Less than 6 months = 0% of the gap
In addition to other available accrued personal leave, general employees may request approval to use accrued major medical sick leave to supplement their income while off work on workers' compensation. To access accrued MML, the injured employee must use 56 consecutive hours of accrued leave time (vacation, short term sick, old sick, personal holiday, compensatory time, etc.) and/or time off without pay before MML may be used.
This policy change is effective December 15, 2012. The policy does not apply retroactively to prior pay periods.
The City of Fort Worth provides Major Medical Leave to any non-civil service employee who occupies a full-time or part-time non-elected position, is a member of the Retirement fund, and has completed their initial probationary period. Accrued leave usage is limited to the amount of hours needed for the employee to receive base salary.
Base salary is defined as the employee's hourly rate times their normal scheduled work hours (40 hours week). Base salary does not include overtime, shift differential, certification, or any other pay the employee may have received prior to the date of injury. The workers' compensation benefit, plus salary supplement, plus accrued leave usage supplement cannot exceed the employee's normal base salary.
To utilize accrued leave supplement, employees must submit a written request to his/her department Medical Records Coordinator (MRC). The employee's workers' compensation benefit, salary supplement benefit (if eligible), and accruals of appropriate leave and compensatory time will be reviewed. The MRC shall notify the employee of his/her eligibility to use available accrued leave, including Major Medical Leave.
The department MRC and the employee will work together to determine the amounts and the types of leave that will be used to supplement his/her salary.
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