Worker’s Compensation: Work-Related Injury
Western Oregon University strives to provide safe working conditions for all employees. If an employee or student worker believes they have suffered a work-related injury or illness, they may be eligible for Worker’s Compensation benefits. Every WOU employee is held responsible for understanding and following university procedures in the event of an injury or illness that is work related. If a claim is filled out incorrectly, or is not completed within 24 hours of the incident, the employee may lose Worker’s Compensation benefit eligibility.
Reminder: Worker’s Compensation coverage at the university does not extend to the general student population, volunteers, contractors, or faculty on a courtesy appointment. If an incident should occur to these populations, please contact Campus Public Safety at 503-838-8481 (Main Office) or 503-838-9000 (Emergency Line).
To access any forms necessary for a work-related injury or illness, please go Human Resources’ Forms Page under Injury Report/Worker’s Compensation (SAIF) Forms.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is covered by worker's compensation?
Medical expenses related to the treatment of your work-related injury or illness may be covered under Worker’s Compensation. This includes doctor or hospital visits, physical therapy, prescription medication and equipment. In some cases, Worker’s Compensation may cover pay for lost wages.
Who is eligible for Worker's Compensation?
If you are performing activities that the university pays you to do and are injured on the job, then you may be eligible. If you are unsure about your employment status, contact HR (firstname.lastname@example.org) to determine specific eligibility.
What if my Worker's Compensation claim is denied?
You will be given a specific amount of time to appeal the decision. However, you may have to pay out of pocket for your medical treatment.
How will I know if a Worker's Compensation claim has been accepted or denied?
Generally, you will know if your claim has been accepted or denied within 60 days of the date SAIF receives your forms. When they reach a decision, SAIF will notify you.
What happens if I don't miss any work?
The claim is set up to make payment for any medical expenses related to the injury or illness, regardless of time off.
What happens if I need a medical leave to recover?
Your absence must be authorized by a medical professional treating you. You must be out of work for three consecutive days before Worker’s Compensation may pay for time lost.
Disability payments are calculated as follows:
- If you lose 1-3 days of work, no temporary disability payments may be made.
- If you lose 4-9 days of work, temporary disability payments may begin on day four.
- If you are out 10 consecutive days or more, Worker’s Compensation disability payments may begin day 1 of absence.
Please note that pay for time missed is dependent on Worker’s Compensation claim being approved.
What do I do when I'm ready to return to work?
A release from your doctor stating that you are able to return to work is required before you return. If you can only return to work on a part-time basis, Worker’s Compensation may cover the time that you cannot work.
What if I have questions about my claim?
SAIF Corporation or your employer should be able to answer your questions.
- Call SAIF Corporation at: 800-285-8525
- Call Heather Mercer (Benefit’s Manager at WOU) at: 503-838-8963
Responsibilities before incident occurs:
Expectations of employees are clear
- Employees understand they need to inform supervisor immediately after an incident.
- If supervisor is away or on leave, employee is aware of their supervisor’s second-in-command in case of emergency.
- Employee understands which forms they are to fill out based on the incident and whether it needs medical attention.
Training opportunities are provided for employees
- New employees are successfully trained before beginning work.
- SAIF Trainings.
- Other Safety/Equipment Trainings.
Responsibilities AFTER Incident Occurs:
Adequate forms must be complete and turned in to HR within 24 hours of incident
- If hospitalization or doctor’s visit is NOT necessary:
Fill out Supervisor’s Occupational Injury Report (SOIR) on employee’s behalf and send to HR.
- If hospitalization or doctor’s visit IS necessary:
Fill out SOIR form and SAIF 801 (ONLY the Worker’s Section of the form; HR will fill out the Employer’s Section of the form) and send to the Human Resources office.
Inform employee on their need to fill out an Employee Status Report with their physician.
- Communicate with Your Employee
Ask how they are doing, when they expect to return to work, and keep them involved in what is going on at work.
- Communicate with Human Resources
Inform the Assistant Director of Human Resources, Heather Mercer, on any new information relative to the status of the employee and the Worker’s Compensation claim. For example, inform Heather if your employee is unable to work, or inform her when they return to work after the incident.
Consider Providing Temporary Modified Duty
This will allow your employee to return to work. Often, an employee who is unable to perform their usual work tasks can still perform in some capacity.
Employees & Student Workers
Responsibilities in the Workplace:
Inform a Supervisor Immediately following an incident.
- With your supervisor you will need to fill out the Supervisor Occupational Injury Report.
- If you are going to pursue medical attention, let your supervisor know so that you can fill out the “Worker” section of the SAIF 801 form together. Please remind your supervisor that they are not to fill out the “Employer” portion of the SAIF form, that is the job of the Human Resources Office.
- If medical leave is taken, keep in contact with both HR and your supervisor about the status of your condition.
Responsibilities with SAIF:
- Keep SAIF informed about your condition so benefits may be made in a timely manner.
- Contact SAIF if you have any questions about your claim or benefits.
- Request reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses (such as prescriptions). Submit requests directly to SAIF within two years of service date.
- Respond to requests for information in a timely manner. Many laws have clear response deadlines on your part. Failure to respond by the due date may affect your claim.
- Make sure your medical provider has your claim number so that they can bill SAIF in a timely manner.
Please report all on campus accidents or injuries to Campus Public Safety. If emergency response is necessary, call 9-1-1, or call Campus Public Safety’s Emergency Line at 503-838-9000.
Safe Work Environment
Western Oregon University is committed to providing a safe environment for all employees and students, not just because it is our legal obligation, but because we care about the well-being of each member of our population. We will make every effort to make this commitment a reality by providing adequate training to our staff and correcting unsafe conditions as a matter of practice. We will be proactive in ensuring a safe university community for all.
The safety of our campus is everyone’s responsibility. If you notice a condition or activity on campus that you feel may create issues of concern for your safety, or that of your coworkers, students, or the public in general, you should report the condition to your supervisor, Facilities Services, Campus Public Safety, or Human Resources at once.
Western Oregon University maintains policies specifying guidelines for appropriate conduct and disciplinary action. As with all violations of policy, violations of safety policies may subject employees to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. The university follows typical procedures for progressive discipline, generally providing warnings before such action is taken. We do not wish this policy to discourage employees from coming forward about real and legitimate safety concerns, but egregious community members will be taken very seriously. The university reserves the right to determine on a case by case basis the seriousness of the violation and the level of disciplinary action.
Phones numbers for reporting unsafe conditions:
- Facilities Services: 88043
- Campus Public Safety: 88481
- Human Resources: 88490
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), is a federal law that requires employers to provide job protection to qualifying employees who take time off for a serious health condition and other qualifying absences from work. Your occupational injury/illness may meet the definition of an FMLA serious health condition. If you are missing time from work, you will be notified about your eligibility for FMLA leave. Time loss and FMLA leave run concurrently.