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Early workers’ comp suspension costs 19-Month salary payout

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

How do four days translate into 19 months? That was the math that left Reliance Electric Company, based in Greenville, S.C., scratching its head after a workers’ compensation ruling.

Finding that Reliance had suspended an employee’s workers’ compensation benefits four days shy of the 10-day notice period, the court awarded the employee back-benefits from the date of the suspension 19 months earlier.

Reliance appealed, and the Georgia Court of Appeals agreed, ruling that Reliance owed benefits only for the balance of the 10-day waiting period, plus attorneys’ fees.

Reliance made the mistake of suspending benefits 10 days from the day it issued a WC-2 to confirm that its employee, a winding technician on leave for carpal-tunnel treatment, was able to return to work. The 10-day waiting period doesn’t begin until the WC-2 is filed with the workers’ compensation board and served on the claimant. 

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