Physical Therapy

Q

My question concerns the use of sick leave vs. "making up the time" for
job-related repetitive stress injury under workers' compensation.

[Safety and Site Services] evaluated my situation and determined that I
needed to go for x-rays. I was then sent to physical therapy for several
weeks, with sessions each lasting one hour plus about a half hour for
travel between the office and the session. To lessen the amount of time
away from work, I tried to schedule the therapy sessions at noon, the
beginning of the day, or the end of the day, but those hours were not
always available.

Instead of being allowed to use sick leave (which I have available) for
this required therapy, I was forced to make up the time by working even
longer hours. This didn't help the repetitive stress injury for which I was
going to physical therapy in the first place.

Why can't people use their sick leave for physical therapy under workers'
comp? If I needed to go to therapy for an injury received at the gym, I
could use sick leave.

Answered on November 23, 1999

A

UCAR's sick leave policy does allow employees to use sick leave under
workers' compensation. The Sick Leave policy
UCAR Benefits Manual states:

If you become ill or are temporarily disabled as a result of a
work-related incident, you will receive the same benefits as those
suffering other illness or injury, except that UCAR may be reimbursed by an
insurance carrier. If reimbursement occurs, the sick leave credits are
reinstated.

Thus, sick leave may be used for a doctor's appointment covered under
workers' compensation. As with any use of sick leave, employees are asked
to give advance notification whenever possible. Employees and supervisors
should use common sense when scheduling sick leave for doctor's
appointments; if practical, employees should schedule appointments to
minimize disruption of the work day. If desired, employees may schedule
doctor's appointments outside of working hours or work with their
supervisors to rearrange their schedules to eliminate the need to use sick
leave.

Because this was submitted as a Delphi Question, a formal response has been
given. Human Resources routinely answers questions such as this, and the
writer is encouraged to contact HR for further assistance.

--Bob Roesch, Director, Human Resources