It’s vital to understand – what your employee handbook says about workers’ compensation may or may not govern.  If the handbook is not in agreement with the law, the law will prevail.  Only by speaking to an attorney can you actually know what your rights and responsibilities are.

Below are snippets from some of Maryland’s largest employers’ workers’ compensation policies.  All information comes from employee handbooks published online.

Johns Hopkins Workers’ Compensation Policies

Johns Hopkins operates its “own” Workers’ Compensation program, The Johns Hopkins Workers Compensation Program.  This program provides case management, claims payment, adjudication, and loss control services for Hopkins employees who are injured on the job.

Loss control really means figuring out how to pay the employee less.  Many hospitals operate their own employee health and/or workers’ comp programs.  There is an inherent conflict of interest in this.  They want to lower costs as the employer, but have an obligation to treat all that’s needed as the medical provider.

If you need access to the Johns Hopkins workers comp program, it’s certainly recommended you seek an attorney.  For instance, you do not actually have to be treated by the employer doctor.  If you file a valid Maryland workers’ compensation claim, you may see the doctor of your choice, so long as that doctor accepts workers’ compensation insurance.  It’s between you and the doctor.

To see more information related to Hopkins workers’ comp program:

University of Maryland Medical System Workers’ Compensation

The University of Maryland Medical System, another hospital, only calls workers compensation a “benefit” in their employee manual for employees at their midtown campus.  Yes, it’s a benefit, but it’s a benefit required under the law.  Hardly a gift.  It’s simply the cost of being an employer.

If an employee sustains an injury while on the job at UMMS, the University will cover all medical treatment, and any necessary follow-up treatment relating to that injury.  Again, seek a lawyer for care of your choosing.

*For more information, see:

University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Workers’ Comp

The University of Maryland Baltimore County provides employees with Workers’ Compensation benefits, provided that they immediately notify their supervisor of the accident.  The law simply requires ten days, and depending on the facts, the 10 days can be extended.

An employee who is injured must visit a doctor within three days of his or her injury.  The employee manual states that, but nothing in the law states that.

The policy/manual says if a UMBC selected doctor finds that a worker needs more time off before returning to work, additional accident leave may be granted for up to an extra six months.  This is not necessarily in conjunction with the law regarding workers’ comp in MD.  The manual does state you have the right to file with the WCC.  No kidding.  Thanks.

*For more information, see:

Wells Fargo Workers’ Compensation Policy

If an employee is injured on the job, he should notify his case manager immediately, and report his injury to Risk and Insurance Management.  Workers’ Compensation coverage begins the first day of employment for all Wells Fargo Employees, and covers all medical bills and lost income due to a work-related injury or illness, until the employee can return to work.

In Maryland, according to the WCC, Wells Fargo, depending on the specific subsidiary, has its workers’ compensation coverage with either Zurich American Insurance or Old Republic.

*For more information, see:

Workers’ Compensation Policies and the Employee Handbook

As an observer of this industry, I cannot understand why so many employers have so much to say about workers’ compensation in their handbooks and employee manuals.  The laws of comp dictate, not an employee handbook that might actually state things contrary to the law.  The easiest thing to say is simply, file a workers’ compensation claim in conjunction with the state of Maryland.  Here’s the link.  (That’s what they should say, here actually is the link. You can also read articles about filing a claim.)  Best I can figure as to why that’s not what is said is simply:

By making employees think they have to do things they don’t actually have to do, they can save costs.  Not exactly empowering employees.

Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer to figure out exactly what your rights are.

Get your question answered.