‘Workplace Health & Safety’ Category
When an associate has surgery due to a workers comp case and they are out of work for 6 months. How long do they stay on the payroll? Do they terminate and have to be rehired? Is workers comp responsible for paying lost wages for the entire 6 months? Would this associate also fall under the FMLA regulations?
Employers may, but are not required to, establish policies which require workers’ compensation leaves to run concurrently with Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. If your company has such a policy, you would only be required to hold the employee’s job for the FMLA-mandated 12 weeks.
Your workers’ compensation insurance will be covering a portion of the employee’s income (usually around 60%) and this may continue indefinitely, as long as the employee remains unable to work. The employee may also be eligible for short or long-term disability benefits.
If you choose to terminate this employee, make it clear to him or her, and in your termination documentation, that the reason for the termination is the expiration of the leave and not because he or she took the leave. It is illegal to retaliate against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim, but you are perfectly within your rights to adhere to your own attendance and leave policies.
Are Human Resource Files allowed to be stored in a private/exclusive folder on a company server or are they only to be stored solely on the computer of the Human Resource Manager?
There is no law that requires employers to maintain HR files on a particular computer, or even to have computerized records at all. Many smaller companies do not even have an HR Manager, and even those that do must determine as a company how to best manage their records.
However, all employers must safeguard the personal information of their employees. This can be accomplished by keeping files in a locked, secure area with access limited to those who have a need to know only. Information stored in electronic form must also be protected, and stored in password-protected systems with internal security controls in place.
The business manager has shared an employees salary information, relocation package and used vacation days with other employees. Is this in violation of HIPAA?
- No. The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provides protections for participants & beneficiaries in group health plans. It does not cover other employment information, such as salary, relocation benefits, vacation, etc. However, the sharing of this information with employees who do not have a need to know may be covered under the employer’s confidentiality policy.
We are a small business in Ohio.
We do pre-employment drug testing as well and company-wide random testing.
Are we able to take one specific employee to do a random or does this need to be company-wide?
A random drug screen program indicates that the tests are truly random. These often consist of a computer-generated list of names, and do not target any one individual. Depending on the size of your company, your random screens may only test one employee per test rotation, but this should not be an individual you hand-pick for the test.
However, if there is one individual you wish to test, this may be accomplished via “for-cause” or “reasonable suspicion” drug testing, which is legal in the state of Ohio. Ohio employers must ensure their drug policies include the consequences for refusing to submit to testing or for violating the drug use policy. Additionally, the policy must include a commitment to rehabilitation.
I have an employee that is out on STD. He has a release note from his doctor. The work is very demanding. Can I require him to see another doctor of my choosing to supply a “fit for duty” exam? This is the employees second STD this year and has used all his FMLA already.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not permit employers to require a second opinion on whether or not an employee is fit to return to work. The certification from the employee’s healthcare provider meets the requirements for a fitness-for-duty release.
What you can do is provide the employer’s healthcare provider with a copy of the job description, and request confirmation that the employee is able to perform the job duties listed therein. This will ensure the physician has an accurate picture of the physical demands of the employee’s job.
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