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Workers’ compensation insurance provides compensation to employees who are injured or disabled on the job. It pays for necessary medical treatment, loss of wages during a period of disability and compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement. Benefits are also provided for dependents of workers who die in work-related accidents or from occupational illnesses.

Workers’ comp is a no-fault insurance system. To collect benefits, workers aren’t required to prove that they’re completely free from fault or that the employer is at fault. Workers’ compensation is also an “exclusive remedy” system: In exchange for the expectation of benefits, workers aren’t permitted to bring a civil suit against an employer to collect damages for work-related injuries. Exceptions are made to the “exclusive remedy” rule in cases of intentional injuries caused by the employer and injuries caused by a third party.

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PD February 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I have two employees who have been out on WC claims 12 months. One (GA) is on her second back surgery and another (TX) is suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress syndrome) after a workplace violence incident 2 years ago. At what point can I let them go for inability to perform the essential functions of the job? I also have an ee (OR) who is on her 5th month out for double knee surgery (non FMLA eligible and not WC related). She’s not due back for 3 more weeks and her doc keeps extending the leave-originally estimated to return 3 months ago. These are health care positions requiring extensive credentialing which makes it difficult to find temporary replacements. I say this is “unreasonable accomodation” for their disabilities. I inherited these circumstances and want to draw a line in the sand for future claims. Can you give me advice?


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