4.5 Industrial Accident and Workers' Compensation

This policy was last updated March 29, 2023. See the update history page for more information.

In accordance with the requirements of the Workers' Compensation Act of Massachusetts, the Institute provides insurance to protect employees against financial loss due to personal injury and some occupational illnesses arising out of and in the course and scope of employment at the Institute. For detailed information concerning supervisor responsibilities regarding accident prevention and reporting, please contact the Environment, Health & Safety Office  (N52, Room 496) and Workers' Compensation program located in Human Resources (NE49-5000).

4.5.1 Reporting an Industrial Accident

An employee who has been injured or becomes ill as a result of their employment at the Institute should seek immediate medical attention and should notify their supervisor as soon as practicable. For emergencies, employees should call MIT Police, Lincoln Laboratory Security, or 911. For non-emergencies, employees should seek care with an urgent care facility, MIT Medical, or the employee’s primary care provider for their first visit. Injured employees are expected to schedule an administrative visit with MIT Medical's Occupational Health Service within seven calendar days of an injury or as soon as practicable. Work-related injuries or illnesses should be reported immediately by the supervisor via Atlas Injury Reporting. The supervisor must submit an online report of the illness or injury that occurred. The HR Workers' Compensation Administrator submits appropriate reports of the occupational injury or illness to the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents; at Lincoln Laboratory the accident report is available from the Lincoln EH&S Office, S1-130.

Injured employees are responsible for submitting medical documentation to MIT's Disabilities Services and Medical Leaves Office in a timely manner consistent with legal requirements. Failure to submit this documentation may result in a delay of wage replacement benefits.

4.5.2 Statutory Wage Replacement and Medical Benefits

An employee who is absent between 6 and 20 days as the result of an accident or illness deemed to be industrial (that is, work-related) is eligible for statutory wage replacement benefits from the sixth day of absence due to injury or illness. When an employee is out for more than 20 days, the benefits are paid back to the first full day of disability.

The maximum wage replacement benefit for injured employees who lose time for work is 60% of the employee's average weekly wage, not to exceed the average weekly wage in the Commonwealth (established each October 1). In all workers' compensation cases, payment for adequate and reasonable medical and hospital services is also provided by MIT as mandated by the Workers' Compensation Act of Massachusetts.

4.5.3 Supplemental Institute Payments

The Institute may make the following supplemental payments to employees absent from work due to an occupational injury or illness:

  1. If an employee is absent for fewer than the five scheduled work days required to assure wage replacement benefits, the Institute may pay the employee their base weekly gross salary, plus any applicable shift differential. If an employee is absent for six or more work days, wage replacement benefits will begin and will compensate lost wages at 60% of the employee's Average Weekly Wage. For this purpose, the Average Weekly Wage is based on the prior 52 weeks before the date of injury. Payments are tax-free and no deductions are taken.
  2. If an employee’s wage replacement benefit is less than their base weekly gross salary, they can elect to supplement their wage replacement benefit by using accumulated Sick Time to make up the 40% difference. The supervisor must then report the supplemental time as Sick Time. If the employee does not elect to supplement the wage replacement benefit, the supervisor reports the unpaid time as Leave Without Pay (LWOP). An employee who has elected to supplement with Sick Time can opt out of supplementing for future payments at any time during the leave; if so, the employee is responsible, after the opt-out takes effect, for reimbursing the Institute for their share of benefits costs such as health insurance or personal insurance coverage. If the employee does not make an election, accumulated Sick Time will automatically be used to supplement their wage replacement benefit.
  3. Because there may be administrative delays before the employee actually receives wage replacement benefits for the first five days, Sick Time balances may be used to cover these days of absence. If an employee is out for more than 21 consecutive work days, the employee will also receive wage replacement for the first five days that they were out of work due to the injury or illness. Sick Time used for the first five days may be restored if the employee endorses their wage replacement check to MIT and sends it to MIT’s Workers' Compensation Administration. This will restore 60% of used Sick Time and the remaining 40% will continue to be charged as Sick Time unless the employee opts to buy this time back by payroll deductions.

4.5.4 Leaves and Benefits while on Workers' Compensation Leave Accrual of Vacation and Sick Leave

An employee who is absent from work as the result of an occupational injury or illness, and who is receiving Worker's Compensation insurance payments, will earn vacation at their normal rate for a period not to exceed one year, and will be credited with Sick Time for the period of absence. Payment of Holiday Pay

An employee will be paid for a holiday which falls during a period of absence due to an occupational injury or illness only if they are supplementing their wage replacement benefits with sick leave. (See b in 4.8.3 above.) In this event, the portion of supplemental pay normally charged to Sick Time will be charged to holiday pay. Continuation of Institute Benefits

Certain Institute benefits may be maintained for a limited period of time, provided the employee makes arrangements with the HR/Payroll to continue the appropriate contributions.

4.5.5 Review of Employment Status

In cases of prolonged absence due to an occupational illness or injury, the employment status of the individual will be reviewed periodically, and may result in termination of employment consistent with the Institute's policies.