Consortium Call of the Month - December

Category: Private Education Matters
Date: Dec 23, 2014 05:18 PM

Members of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore's consortiums are able to speak directly to an LCW attorney free of charge to answer direct questions not requiring in-depth research, document review, written opinions or ongoing legal matters.  Consortium calls run the full gamut of topics, from leaves of absence to employment applications, student concerns to disability accommodations, construction and facilities issues and more.  Each month, we will feature a Consortium Call of the Month in our newsletter, describing an interesting call and how the issue was resolved.  All identifiable details will be changed or omitted.

ISSUE:  An employee at a school is out on a Worker's Compensation injury.  Her doctor ordered her to be on a reduced work schedule.  The school has hired a substitute to come in for the hours that the employee cannot work during the period of her injury and recovery.  The school wanted to know if it was allowed to continue to pay the employee her full salary and have the employee sign over her Worker's Compensation payments to the school.

RESPONSE: The lawyer told the school administrator that there is no legal reason the school could not reach this arrangement with the employee, so long as she agreed.  It would be advisable to put the terms of the arrangement in writing, so that the employee is obligated to turn over her Worker's Compensation money to the school.  There is not a very high risk of any sort of claim by the employee because she is receiving enough money to make her whole during her time out of work.  But one factor to consider is whether or not this arrangement would set a precedent the school would be comfortable with in the future.  If other employees heard about this arrangement, they too might request full compensation during Worker's Compensation leave.  If the school does not grant this to other employees, they could face accusations of discrimination.

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