Can my worker on workers' compensation leave to recover from surgery for a workplace injury use her PTO?
An employer cannot require a worker on workers' compensation leave to use their PTO instead of collecting benefits.
However, you may be allowed to require the worker to use PTO while on leave to make up the difference between workers' compensation benefits and regular wages.
Because workers' compensation is a creature of state law for private employers and every state's system is different, consult with your local counsel on this matter.
Jack McCalmon and Leslie Zieren are attorneys with more than 50 years combined experience assisting employers in lowering their risk, including answering questions, like the one above, through the McCalmon Group's Best Practices Help Line. The Best Practice Help Line is a service of The McCalmon Group, Inc. Your organization may have access to The Best Practice Help Line or a similar service from another provider at no cost to you or at a discount. For questions about The Best Practice Help Line or what similar services are available to you via this Platform, call 888.712.7667.
If you have a question that you would like Jack McCalmon or Leslie Zieren to consider for this column, please submit it to email@example.com. Please note that The McCalmon Group cannot guarantee that your question will be answered. Answers are based on generally accepted risk management best practices. They are not, and should not be considered, legal advice. If you need an answer immediately or desire legal advice, please call your local legal counsel.