Employee "disappears" while on WC..

Employee strained his wrist while on the job on 05-31-01.We sent him to Urgent
Care and also Specialist Care, from that time on. This employee has been on and off temporary disability since date of injury. Usually, the employee would check in with the company after a doctor examination, and submit any paperwork
from his care. Then I would submit the paperwork to the insurance carrier
for processing WC benefits.Now,two weeks ago the Specialist Care office called me to say that this employee has not shown up for his appointment.I called the employee's telephone number on file, and the phone had been disconnected with no
forwarding number available.No one knows where he is.Is he still our employee?
What about vacation accrued ?



  • 2 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • You need to make a good faith effort to locate this employee -- and document all of your efforts. The medical provider will keep the WC case open for a short period of time, then close it due to lack of response. Your WC carrier will follow suit, although it will remain available to be re-opened in the future. If all your attempts to contact this person have failed, you can most likely terminate due to job abandonment. Termination will trigger more contact attempts that you will document, such as a letter of termination, COBRA, and pension plan information. If your policy is to pay accrued vacation, be sure to mention it in the termination letter, process a check for payment and mail it -certified return receipt.
  • One other thing I might suggest is that you put in place a policy that says if an employee fails to show up for work and fails to call for three days, he/she will be considered to have voluntarily resigned their postion. In addition, any employee, who is on a leave of absence, and fails to return to work will be considered to have voluntarily resigned his/her position. This will get them off your payroll, trigger COBRA and allow you to replace them.

    Margaret Morford
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