The County voluntarily provides additional benefits to its Employees which are designed to augment the Workers’ Compensation benefits mandated by the State. To qualify, the Employee must be a permanent Employee and qualify concurrently for the State mandated benefits. The additional benefits are provided at no cost to the Employee and include the following:
Disability Leave With Pay (DLWP)
A County Employee who is disabled as the result of an injury which has been found compensable under the States Workers’ Compensation laws may receive up to 90 calendar days DLWP. All sworn personnel, Deputy Probation Officers and Group Supervisors may receive up to one year DLWP per LC 4850. These benefits are paid in addition to TD payments and bring the injured Employee’s pay check during periods of disability up to the full amount of pay the Employee received prior to disability.
If, for any given period, the Employee does not have an approved DLWP request form on file to cover any part or all of the given pay period, it is mandatory that the Employee use any accrued sick leave.
Coordination of Sick Leave and Vacation Benefits
If a County Employee is still off work after the maximum Disability Leave With Pay period, full pay status is maintained by the use of sick leave and when exhausted, vacation pay, if the Employee wishes to use vacation pay. The Employee is charged full sick leave or vacation time; however, a portion of the hours are refunded representing the Workers’ Compensation benefit amount divided by his or her hourly rate at the time of injury. As an example, an Employee has used up all of his Disability Leave With Pay, earned $10 per hour at the time of injury, and received $336 bi-weekly as a Workers’ Compensation Temporary Disability benefit. During the bi-weekly period, his/her sick leave was charged 80 hours; however 33.6 hours of this amount ($336 temporary disability divided by $10 per hour) was returned to him/her and, thus, the net sick leave used was 80 hours —33.6 = 46.4. After sick leave and vacation time is exhausted, the injured Employee would receive only the Workers’ Compensation Temporary Disability benefit.
Disability Leave Without Pay (DLWOP)
After the expiration of DLWP benefits and after all sick leave has been used (and if the Employee has elected, use of the Employee’s other accrued time), the Employee must apply for Disability Leave Without Pay (DWLOP). As with DLWP, DLWOP can only be granted with the attending physician’s statement attached that the Employee is still disabled, attached to the DLWOP request form. Workers’ Compensation TD benefits may continue to be paid whether or not DLWOP is granted.
Temporary Modified Work
This program was designed to create an opportunity for an Employee whose injury will not allow for the performance of usual and customary duties but will allow for the Employee to make a different, usually less physical, contribution to the Department during the period it takes the Employee to recover sufficiently from the injury to return to his/her usual and customary occupation.
Temporary Modified Work is coordinated by the Employee’s attending physician, Risk Management and the Department Head or designated representative. Assignments are provided in anticipation of the Employee’s return to pre-injury status within 90 days.
Permanent Modified Work Assignments
This benefit involves a permanent change of assignment in order to modify job within the permanent limitations which are the result of a work related injury. The program may involve a period of retraining, and may be coordinated with benefits under a Vocational Rehabilitation program. This program is overseen by the County’s Workers’ Compensation Coordinator located in the Office of Risk Management, 650/363-4612.
A service connected disability retirement may be granted to an Employee who is permanently unable to return to the usual and customary occupation as a result of a work-related disability. More information is available through the Retirement Office, 650-599-1234.
ADA or FEHA
Separate from any benefits you may be entitled to under the Worker’s Compensation program, you may be entitled to reasonable workplace accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). It is your responsibility to apply and provide sufficient information to establish your eligibility and request reasonable accommodations. For further information on qualification arrangements, or to make a request for reasonable accommodations, contact the County’s Equal Employment Opportunity Manager at (650) 363-4340, or write to: EEO Manager, San Mateo County, 455 County Center, Fifth Floor, Redwood City, CA 94063-1663.
Change in Work Status
If a doctor has declared you off work and you return to work early, it is your responsibility to notify your payroll clerk and your claims administrator. Failure to notify the change in your work status could create problems regarding your pay and temporary benefits.
For example: While off work you receive a Temporary Disability (TD) payment along with your county pay (minus the TD payment). Once you return to work, all TD payments would be considered an over-payment. You could be requested to reimburse the claims administrator for all over-payments that you receive and cash. For this reason it is imperative, that if you are off work due to a work-related injury or illness and you return to work early, you must notify your payroll clerk and your claims administrator. if an attorney represents you then you must have your attorney contact your claims administrator and advise them of your change in work status.