4.8 Industrial Accident and Workers' Compensation

4.8 Industrial Accident and Workers' Compensation

In accordance with the requirements of the Workers' Compensation Act of Massachusetts, the Institute provides insurance to protect employees against financial loss due to personal injury and some occupational illnesses arising out of and in the course of employment at the Institute. For detailed information concerning supervisor responsibilities regarding accident prevention and reporting, please contact the Environmental Health & Safety Program (N52, Room 496) and Workers' Compensation Program located in Human Resources (NE49-5000).

4.8.1 Reporting an Industrial Accident

An employee who has been injured or becomes ill as a result of his or her employment at the Institute should notify his or her supervisor at once, and seek immediate medical attention at the MIT Medical Department for the first visit. Follow-up visit may be at a clinic, hospital or your own health care provider. Work-related injuries or illnesses should be reported immediately by the supervisor to HR Benefits, Workers' Compensation Office. The supervisor must submit an on-line report (Supervisor's Report of Industrial Accidents) of the illness or injury that occurred. The HR Workers' Compensation Administrator submits appropriate reports of the occupational injury or illness to the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. (At Lincoln Laboratory the accident report is prepared by the Lincoln EH&S Office, Building FA-249F.)

4.8.2 Statutory Wage Replacement and Medical Benefits

An employee who is absent between 6 and 20 days as the result of an accident or illness deemed to be industrial is eligible for statutory wage replacement benefits from the sixth full day of absence due to injury or illness. When an employee is out more than 20 days, the benefits are paid back to the first full day of disability.

The maximum wage replacement benefit for injured employees who lose time for work is 60% of the employee's average weekly wage, not to exceed the average weekly wage in the Commonwealth, which is established each October 1st. In all compensation cases, payment for adequate and reasonable medical and hospital services as mandated by the Workers' Compensation Act of Massachusetts is also provided.

4.8.3 Supplemental Institute Payments

The Institute may make the following supplemental payments to employees absent from work due to an occupational injury or illness:

  1. If an employee is absent for less than the five scheduled work days required to assure wage replacement benefits, the Institute may pay the employee his or her base weekly gross salary, plus any applicable shift differential. If an employee is absent for six or more work days, wage replacement benefits will begin and will compensate lost wages at 60% of their Average Weekly Wage (AWW). The AWW is based on the prior 52 weeks before the date of injury. Payments are tax-free and no deductions are taken.
  2. If a Support Staff member's wage replacement benefits, including dependency allowance, total less than his or her base weekly gross salary plus any applicable shift differential, he or she may elect to supplement 40% of their accumulated sick leave or personal leave to make up the difference. The supervisor will report the time as deductions from sick or personal leave.

    In the case of a member of the Administrative or Sponsored Research staffs, where sick leave is not reported or accumulated, the Institute may make up the difference in pay for a period of six months, at which time the circumstances of the case will be reviewed by the Human Resource Office.

  3. The Institute wants to assure uninterrupted salary payments to the employee. Because there may be administrative delays before the employee actually receives wage replacement benefits for the first 5 days, sick leave balances (for Support Staff) will be charged to cover these days of absence. The 5 days of sick/personal leave will be restored when adequate medical documentation is presented. If you are out more than 21 days from the 6th day of absence we are required by law to pay the employee from the first 5 days out. Because the Institute paid the employee the first 5 days of absence, the employee must return this amount to MIT's Payroll Office, either by endorsement of the wage replacement check, or by future payroll deduction.

4.8.4 Accrual of Vacation and Sick Leave

An employee who is absent from work as the result of an occupational injury or illness, and who is receiving Worker's Compensation insurance payments, will earn vacation at his or her normal rate for a period not to exceed one year, and will not be credited with sick leave for the period of absence.

4.8.5 Payment of Holiday Pay

An employee will be paid for a holiday which falls during a period of absence due to an occupational injury or illness only if he or she is supplementing his or her wage replacement benefits with sick leave. (See b in 4.8.3 above.) In this event, the portion of supplemental pay normally charged to sick leave will be charged to holiday pay.

4.8.6 Continuation of Institute Benefits

Certain Institute benefits may be maintained for a limited period of time, provided the employee makes arrangements with the HR/Payroll to continue the appropriate contributions to the plans.

4.8.7 Review of Employment Status

In cases of prolonged absence due to an occupational illness or injury, the employment status of the individual will be reviewed periodically, and may result in termination of employment with the Institute.