4.5 Industrial Accident and Workers' Compensation

This policy was last updated January 1, 2021. 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 Environmental Health & Safety Program (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 notify their supervisor at once, and seek immediate medical attention at the MIT Medical Department for the first visit. Follow-up visit may be at a clinic, hospital or the employee’s own health care provider. Work-related injuries or illnesses should be reported immediately by the supervisor via Atlas Injury Reporting. The supervisor must submit an online report  (Supervisor's Report of Industrial Accidents) 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 prepared by the Lincoln EH&S Office, Building FA-249F.)

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 full day of absence due to injury or illness. When an employee is out 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 1st). In all workers' compensation cases, payment for adequate and reasonable medical and hospital services as mandated by the Workers' Compensation Act of Massachusetts is also provided.

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 his or her 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, are significantly less than their base weekly gross salary, they may elect to supplement 40% of their accumulated  Sick Time to make up the difference. This election is automatically withdrawn from the employees accrued Sick Time unless the employee opts out.  The supervisor will report the time as deductions from Sick Time, and if the employee opts out, the supervisor reports as leave without pay. An employee can opt out at any time during the leave; if so, they are responsible for reimbursing the Institute for their share of benefits costs such as health insurance or personal insurance coverage.
  3. Because there may be administrative delays before the employee actually receives wage replacement benefits for the first five days, Sick Time balances  are charged to cover these days of absence. The five days of Sick Time (or personal leave, for hourly paid staff) will be restored if adequate medical documentation is presented. If an employee is out more than 21 consecutive work days, the employee is paid for the first five days that they were out of work due to the injury or illness. If the Institute pays the employee the first five days of absence, the employee must return this amount to MIT's Payroll Office, either by endorsement of the wage replacement check, or by future payroll deduction.

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 his or her normal rate for a period not to exceed one year, and will not be credited with sick leave 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 he or she is supplementing his or her 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 leave 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 to the plans.

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 with the Institute.