After an employee is hurt at work, can their employer take all of the employee’s vacation and sick time to pay them instead of using workman’s compensation?

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After an employee is hurt at work, can their employer take all of the employee’s vacation and sick time to pay them instead of using workman’s compensation?

Asked on March 8, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Workers' compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee's right to sue his or her employer for the tort of negligence. The tradeoff between assured, limited coverage and lack of recourse outside the worker compensation system is known as "the compensation bargain".

While plans differ among jurisdictions, provision can be made for weekly payments in place of wages (functioning in this case as a form of disability insurance), compensation for economic loss (past and future), reimbursement or payment of medical and like expenses (functioning in this case as a form of health insurance), and benefits payable to the dependents of workers killed during employment (functioning in this case as a form of life insurance).

General damages for pain and suffering, and punitive damages for employer negligence, are generally not available in workers' compensation plans, and negligence is generally not an issue in the case. These laws were first enacted in Europe and Oceania, with the United States following shortly thereafter.

Answer: The employer is to give the injured employee a written option to ise vacation time or not and follow the employee's written instructions.


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