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Worker's Compensation


safetyfirstEvery Gaston County employee is entitled to Workers’ Compensation if they are injured on the job. In order for the Workers’ Comp process to work effectively on your behalf, you must follow certain guidelines. There are certain steps that MUST be followed, whether it’s the injured employee, the supervisor, or the Safety and Workers’ Comp Coordinator. We all must be sure that we take the proper action to get the injured employee the quickest and best care.

The following is an excerpt from the Gaston County Policy Manual that lays out how the Worker’s Comp process flows. Please read this carefully. At the end you’ll find out more specific information on individual responsibilities in this process.

  • injuredemployeeEmployee notifies supervisor of injury. Employee or supervisor notifies Safety/Workers’ Comp Coordinator.
  • Safety/Workers’ Comp Coordinator will authorize a MD visit if needed. Do not see your primary care MD for work related injuries. They may not accept workers comp.
  • After seeing the MD, the employee should bring all paper work, especially the work note, to the Safety/Workers’ Comp Coordinator prior to returning to work. If the employee is unable to bring the note, a designated person will bring it or fax it to the Safety/Workers’ Comp Coordinator.
  • Injured EmployeeThe MD note will determine if the employee is on regular duty, light duty, or out of work.
  • If light duty is assigned, the Safety/Workers’ Comp Coordinator will call the supervisor of the injured employee and notify them of the restrictions. Work accommodations will be made. If there is no light duty available in that department, the Safety/Workers’ Comp Coordinator or HR Director will call other departments for possible light duty work elsewhere.
  • If the injured employee is out of work, they will use sick leave for the first 7 calendar days they are out. Beginning on the 8th day, workers comp payments will pay wages. Wages are 2/3’s of the gross hourly wage at the time of the accident. NC State workers comp law sets this. No taxes are taken out on this money. It is not classified as taxable income. No direct deposit is available; no deductions are taken out. It is the responsibility of the employee to handle this. If the employee is out more than 21 days Workers’ Comp will pay the first 7 days retroactively and the employee will be given an opportunity to “buy back” their sick leave.
  • While out of work, the employee is to keep all scheduled appointments made regarding the worker’s comp injury. If the employee is on light duty and they work 8-5, Monday – Friday, appointments will have to be during working hours. Adequate time will be allowed to get to and from the MD office in addition to office time. The employee will be given a note for time in and out to be filled in by the PT and signed. If the employee has a work schedule that includes days off on a weekday, they may be asked to make some appointments on their own time.
  • If the employee is on light duty or regular duty and desires to be out of work, they need approval from their supervisor and may then take sick leave. The employee will not be paid wages under worker’s comp unless the MD has written a note stating employee is out of work. The note must have an “out of work until” date.
  • The MD usually will bring an out of work employee back to light duty before returning them to full duty. Previous statements will then apply.
  • As soon as the employee is returned to full duty or light duty, the county will resume the regular pay
  • Payment for all approved MD visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, for the worker’s comp injury will be paid by worker’s comp. Do not file this on BCBS. They will deny the claim.
  • Individual circumstances will be handled on an as needed basis. Contact the Safety/Workers’ Comp Coordinator regarding these.
Here’s what we tell all new employees:

What do you do if you are injured on the job?

  • Notify your supervisor immediately
  • No matter how serious the injury

What does your supervisor do?

  • Supervisor notifies the Safety & Workers’ Comp Coordinator between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday-Friday
  • If it is an emergency, the supervisor calls 911 and then notifies the Safety & Workers’ Comp Coordinator
  • If the incident occurs after normal business hours, the supervisor calls the on-call nurse for instructions
  • Fills out the HR Form 100 and sends it to the Safety & Workers’ Comp Coordinator within 24 hours after the incident

What does the Safety & Workers’ Comp Coordinator do?

  • Directs the supervisor where to send the employee for treatment
  • Initiates the Workers’ Comp process
  • Is the main point of contact between the employee and the Workers’ Comp process

Where do you get treatment?

Occupational Medicine at CaroMont Regional Medical Center (the hospital formerly known as Gaston Memorial Hospital)
  • Between the hours of 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday-Friday

Urgent Care on Cox Rd.
  • Between the hours of 5:00pm to 8:00pm, Monday-Friday, and 8:00am to 8:00pm on weekends and holidays
  • The County’s on-call nurse will provide guidance

Emergency Room

  • Go to the nearest ER
  • Between the hours 8:00pm to 8:00am, 7 days a week
  • If the injury is an emergency, the employee will be taken to the ER regardless of the time or day
Treatment after normal business hours usually applies to public safety employees, but can also include other employees who must work beyond normal hours.

This protocal must be followed.