Success Story- Union Employee Returned to Work
The employer: a local municipality.
A borough police officer was injured on the job and began receiving workers compensation. One year later he was still not back to work.
The Seltzer Group was working with the municipality to get this police officer back to work on modified duty. The legal counsel for the borough was advising against bringing back the injured employee for various reasons, the most prevalent being the fear of a grievance and/or unfair labor practice charge. Initially the injured officer appeared cooperative; however, when asked to return in a light duty position he commented that they were “trying to ruin his permanent disability”. The officer did return and simultaneously contacted The Federal Order of Police’s attorney who filed a complaint against the employer accusing them of discrimination and failure to bargain under their collective bargaining agreement.
What they were facing:
The borough was facing a lot of issues. By bringing the employee back to work, they were facing the complaint by the FOP and the injured worker as well as swelling heart and lung act expenses. If the employee didn’t come back to work, the carrier was going to offer a worker compensation settlement of almost $100,000 and the borough would be non-renewed.
The borough listened to the advice of The Seltzer Group’s workers compensation and human resources specialists and brought the police officer back to work on restricted duty with limited hours. The complaint by the FOP was determined to be unfounded and was promptly dismissed by PLRB. The carrier did not need to pay a settlement and the borough was not non-renewed. Today the police officer is doing well in his new position, increasing his hours, and doing valuable work for the borough. It was a win-win situation for everyone involved.
It is incredibly important for employers to seek the council of a Human Resources professional who knows the law and can advise in the best interest of the employer. It is equally as important to have someone who knows workers compensation and claims management- how to legally and safely bring back an injured worker and close a claim.
It’s also critical to mention how vital a return to work program is for any organization. This story proves the benefits of such a program in various ways and is also a great example of how an injured worker actually heals better and has a higher quality of life when they get back to work.
The Seltzer Group, located in Eastern Pennsylvania, specializes in developing safety, workers compensation, human resources, claims, and risk financing programs. They are a proud member of the Keystone Insurers Group and are nationally recognized for their expertise in workers compensation solutions. The Seltzer Group serves businesses and individuals locally, regionally, and on the national level.