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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Sick leave and workers’ compensation


Sick leave and workers’ compensation
Robinson v NYC Department of Social Services, 266 A.D.2d 613

Ada Robinson, a stenographer/secretary, filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits based upon work-related carpal tunnel syndrome. Although she “failed to file her claim” within the two-year period as required by Section 28 of the Workers’ Compensation Law, the Workers’ Compensation Board awarded her workers’ compensation benefits. The department appealed.

The department had continued Robinson on the payroll following her surgery to relieve her condition. The Board decided that this constituted an advance payment of wages within the meaning of Section 28, and held that the “limitations period” did not apply in her case.*

As Robinson “could have used sick leave” even if her condition had not been work-related, the department argued that she would have been paid regardless of the cause of injury and thus it had not made an advance payment.

The department’s personnel records, however, showed that Robinson had checked the disability box, not one of the sick leave boxes, on the “request for leave form” approved and signed by her supervisor. Also, her request for additional absence, also approved by her supervisor, included the notation “Workers’ Comp.”

Thus, said the court, the record supported the Board’s ruling that the department continued to pay Robinson in recognition of its workers’ compensation liability.

* Remuneration in the form of wages can constitute an advance payment where the payment is provided in recognition of workers compensation liability. In contrast, payments made regardless of the cause of injury do not constitute an advance payment.

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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