Managing Occupational Leaves (Workers' Compensation)

A Workers’ Compensation leave of absence is a medical leave of absence due to workplace incident, accident or occupational illness (job-related).

This leave may be taken for a set period of time (e.g. 6 weeks), as a reduced schedule (e.g. only working 28 hours per week) or intermittently (sporadic absences).

All employees are covered by the provisions of the New York State Workers' Compensation Law. Benefits are provided in accordance with this law for job-related illnesses or accidents. Workers' Compensation is insurance that provides cash benefits and/or medical care for workers who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their job. 

Paid leave may be available and employees should check applicable University policy or Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for specific details. Employee’s eligible for paid leave by the University will remit any payments received by Workers’ Compensation to the University.

See NY State Workers' Compensation Compliance Poster

Requesting a Leave of Absence

All job-related illnesses or accidents must be reported by following the steps below. The submission of the report does not indicate agreement that an accident or illness has occurred. The University reserves the right to require verification of injury by a physician of its choice:

  1. Seek Medical Attention if the employee needs immediate help! 
     
  2. Employees should report the injury to their supervisor immediately and complete a Departmental Accident Report Form for Workers’ Compensation Benefits.
     
  3. The form must be completed by the employee and his/her supervisor within 24 hours of the incident. The employee should keep a copy of the form for their own records and submit the original to his/her supervisor or designated Departmental HR contact. Late reporting may result in a delay in processing a claim.
     
  4. Departmental HR contact submits the claim to the appropriate provider:

    • New Claims as of 9/1/2018: To Initiate a New Claim, go to www.pmacompanies.com and log in.
    Username:  1012962 (PMA account # for CU)
    Password: newclaim (all lower case)
    Additional information is available on the Guide to submitting a claim for workers’ compensation with PMA.
    • Claims filed prior to 7/1/2018: These workers' compensation claims will continue to be managed by Gallagher Basset. Call them: 800-477-5343.

  5.  The Departmental HR contact should provide the employee with applicable FMLA Forms to complete. The employee returns the FMLA documents to the CUHR Leave Management Office.
     
  6. In addition to filling out the necessary forms, employees must provide their supervisor with medical documentation (a doctor’s note) to cover their absence and keep him/her properly updated regarding their anticipated return to work date.

Medical Treatment
If medical treatment is needed, the employee should seek medical attention immediately at a location most convenient to them. Please note that any private physician authorized by the Workers' Compensation Board can be used. Some of the treatment options closest to our campuses are listed below:

Morningside/Manhattanville Campus:
Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Emergency Room
1111 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10025
(212) 523-4000

Medical Center:
Workforce Health and Safety
1st floor Harkness Pavilion.
Open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(212) 305-7590. 
Note: You must have a Columbia University ID to be seen.

or

New York Presbyterian Hospital Emergency Room
630 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032
(212) 305-2500

Lamont Campus:
Nyack Hospital
160 N Midland Ave
Nyack, NY 10960
(845) 348-2000

When receiving treatment for a workplace injury, the employee will not need to pay the doctor or hospital and his/her private insurance should not be billed. If any charges are incurred, the employee should save all receipts and mail them to our insurer for processing.

For claims filed prior to 7/1/18:
Gallagher Bassett Services Inc
One Huntington Quadrangle, Suite 4N01
Melville, NY 11747
Phone: (631) 694-7073
Toll Free: (800) 477-5343

For claims filed after 9/1/18:
PMA Customer Service Center
P.O. Box 5231 Janesville, WI 53547-5231
1-888-476-2669.
Email: claimsmail@pmagroup.com

Prior to returning to work, medical certification from a physician (doctor’s note) should be submitted by the employee to the CUHR Leave Management Office. 

If the employee requires a workplace accommodation, the CUHR Leave Management Office should be contacted to coordinate with the department and the employee prior to their return to work.

Benefit Description and Vacation Accrual

Officers of Administration may be eligible for partial payment by Workers’ Compensation, as determined by New York State law based on Workers’ Compensation guidelines. Officers may be eligible for additional paid leave. Employee’s eligible for paid leave by the University will remit any payments received by Workers’ Compensation to the University.  

  • Full-Time Officers of Administration, including those in an Eleven-Month Program: eligible for a paid medical leave for up to six months (salary continuation) during any rolling 12-month period when extended absence is caused by a work related accident or illness. Workers’ Compensation will run concurrently.  
     
  • All Other Officers of Administration, including Nine-Month, 10-Month and Part-Time Officers of Administration: may be eligible for partial payment by Workers’ Compensation, as determined by New York State law based on Workers’ Compensation guidelines.
     
  • Officers of Instruction, Research and Libraries: please review the Faculty Handbook.

If eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), FMLA will run concurrently with New York State Disability Benefits. 

Vacation, Personal Days and Holiday Accrual
There is no accrual of vacation, personal or holiday time during an extended leave of absence (30 calendar days or longer). For additional information regarding accrual for overlapping months, see Officers Form Process for Managers.

Non-Union Support Staff (NUSS) employees may be eligible for partial payment by Workers’ Compensation, as determined by New York State law based on Workers’ Compensation guidelines. In addition, the Leaves of Absence Policy should be reviewed to determine if paid leave is available. Employee’s eligible for paid leave by the University will remit any payments received by Workers’ Compensation to the University. 

If eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), FMLA will run concurrently with Workers’ Compensation.

Vacation, Personal Days and Holiday Accrual
There is no accrual of vacation, personal or holiday time.

Union Support Staff employees may be eligible for partial payment by Workers’ Compensation, as determined by New York State law based on Workers’ Compensation guidelines. In addition, per the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), paid leave may be available. Employee’s eligible for paid leave by the University will remit any payments received by Workers’ Compensation to the University. The CBA should be consulted for more information.

If eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), FMLA will run concurrently with Workers’ Compensation.

Holiday Pay While On Leave
Please refer to the CBA for more information.

Useful Tools & Information

For more information on benefits while on a leave of absence, please see Benefits While on a Leave of Absence.

Any questions regarding procedures, FMLA or benefit eligibility should be addressed to CUHR Leave Management.

PAF Codes for Processing Leave Transactions
FMLA Forms

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

In addition to FMLA, other University policies and laws, if eligible, will run concurrently, including: Medical Leave of Absence, NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act, New York State Disability and Workplace Accommodations.

FMLA does not supersede any University policy or collective bargaining agreement that provides greater family or medical leave rights than the rights established under FMLA. Conversely, FMLA provides that the rights established for employees under FMLA cannot be diminished by any policy or agreement.

The leave granted under FMLA generally is a lesser benefit than that available under various University policies and collective bargaining agreements. Because the University meets or exceeds FMLA requirements in many respects, this policy designates many existing types of leave as FMLA leave, so that the University leaves and the FMLA leave run concurrently.