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  • Workers Comp Kentucky

    My company just closed all operations in KY. Unfortunately we had a lapse in our WC coverage 18 months ago and one of our employees suffered an injury on the job. Since December 2005 we have been paying for medical treatment as well as paying her the statutory wages. Since we didn't have coverage at the time we never filed a WC claim, nor do we have an insurer who is administering the injury.

    The result is that this individual has given us a constant stream of doctor notes excusing her from work the entire time (shoulder injury). We have been paying for her treatment without having any real way of knowing her true status. I accept that that is the price we pay for not having kept our coverage current.

    However, my question now is what are our options? We no longer do business in KY and would like to have some resolution. If she really is still injured then she may not get unemployment benefits, so we would still be on the hook. If we stop paying her her statutory wages then presumably she would involve the WC Board and we would have to deal with penalties and hearings. If we don't then we'll never know when she is actually healed.

    Is it time to just hire an attorney and confront it head on?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Uh, it was time to hire an attorney 18 months ago. Seriously, this is way beyond the means of a bulletin board and you need to run, not walk, to the nearest competent legal counsel you can obtain.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

    Comment


    • #3
      And on your way to the attorney don't forget that had you followed mandates for WC insur you wouldn't be in this situation. WC is compulsory not optional. You might also consider your company as fortunate that you didn't have more than this one injury to cover.

      You should have the right to ask for medical records if you doubt the "notes" she keeps bringing is legit. How do you think she is coming by these notes if she isn't under a doctors care that is restricting her from working?

      At some point in time she should be deemed MMI and have a FCE and any permanent disability should be compensated at the same rate as mandated by the state had you been covered with a WC insurance policy as required by law. Perhaps even a little bonus money would be in order if she agrees to NOT file with BWC and end up costing you thousands in fines and penalties.

      I would think a shoulder injury to be healed about as well as it is going to get since it is nearly 18 months post accident. Did she have any kind of surgery or procedures for the injury? That is a very long time to be restricted from work if it was not a massive rotator cuff tear that couldn't be repaired. Have you considered what will happen if she has to have a surgical procedure or a repeat surgery if she has already had a repair? And who will pay for this if it happens?

      Good Luck to you in what ever you decide to do.
      Last edited by BnThrDnTht; 07-18-2007, 07:32 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        How do you think she is coming by these notes if she isn't under a doctors care that is restricting her from working?

        Wellllll....

        A good friend of mine tells a story about how she was required, by company policy, to get a doctor's note to confirm a sick day. When she told the doctor this he pulled his pad out and said, "How many days off do you want?"

        Not disputing your overall point, but there ARE doctors that don't mind falsifying a few records to help a patient or a friend get time off.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cbg View Post
          How do you think she is coming by these notes if she isn't under a doctors care that is restricting her from working?

          Wellllll....

          A good friend of mine tells a story about how she was required, by company policy, to get a doctor's note to confirm a sick day. When she told the doctor this he pulled his pad out and said, "How many days off do you want?"

          Not disputing your overall point, but there ARE doctors that don't mind falsifying a few records to help a patient or a friend get time off.
          Boy, I wish I could have found one of those doctors to put me on "stress leave" so I could have used all my comp time before I quit.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BnThrDnTht View Post
            And on your way to the attorney don't forget that had you followed mandates for WC insur you wouldn't be in this situation. WC is compulsory not optional. You might also consider your company as fortunate that you didn't have more than this one injury to cover.

            You should have the right to ask for medical records if you doubt the "notes" she keeps bringing is legit. How do you think she is coming by these notes if she isn't under a doctors care that is restricting her from working?

            At some point in time she should be deemed MMI and have a FCE and any permanent disability should be compensated at the same rate as mandated by the state had you been covered with a WC insurance policy as required by law. Perhaps even a little bonus money would be in order if she agrees to NOT file with BWC and end up costing you thousands in fines and penalties.

            I would think a shoulder injury to be healed about as well as it is going to get since it is nearly 18 months post accident. Did she have any kind of surgery or procedures for the injury? That is a very long time to be restricted from work if it was not a massive rotator cuff tear that couldn't be repaired. Have you considered what will happen if she has to have a surgical procedure or a repeat surgery if she has already had a repair? And who will pay for this if it happens?

            Good Luck to you in what ever you decide to do.
            Yes, I'm well aware how much better this situation would have been had we not had a lapse. You raise some good questions in your second paragraph, and I hope to get some of those answers.

            I've also seen too many doctors who are more than willing to dash off notes excusing people for just about anything they ask for.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ctlovesred View Post
              I've also seen too many doctors who are more than willing to dash off notes excusing people for just about anything they ask for.
              Like you I have seen my fair share of the notes dashed off. And I have also seen doctors release patients to full duty that likely should be in the hospital they were still so ill. Go figure!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ctlovesred View Post
                Yes, I'm well aware how much better this situation would have been had we not had a lapse. You raise some good questions in your second paragraph, and I hope to get some of those answers.

                I've also seen too many doctors who are more than willing to dash off notes excusing people for just about anything they ask for.
                You could also require her to go to a doctor of your choice for a second opinion in order to keep getting paid to work. This does NOT fix the situation, only a WC board can do this, but if she or the doc is lying, it would be worth paying this doc. Find one that works to get employees back to work as soon as possible!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Turbo those are the rules for using FMLA, not the rules for a WC claim. As it sounds like this employee knows the company screwed up and is taking full advantage, I'd highly suggest they find and follow the advice of an attorney who is well versed in WC. This is not your usual situation at all.
                  I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                  Comment

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