Oregonians who get hurt on the job may no longer have to use their holiday and sick time to go to doctor’s visits to get treated for their injuries.
Late on Monday, 10April,2023, the state Senate voted unanimously to pass a bill that would let workers get paid for the time they spend getting medical care or physical treatment to treat injuries they got at work. The bill will now be considered by the House.
Senate Bill 418 would fill in a hole in Oregon workers’ coverage through the state’s workers’ compensation system, which pays workers when they can’t work because they got hurt.
Workers who have a workers’ compensation claim that is accepted get paid for the time they miss work because of an accident, but only if they miss more than four hours at a time. Because of this, workers who have accidents and need regular medical care or rehab are often not paid because their meetings are generally less than four hours long.
Every year, the program helps thousands of people in Oregon. Data from the state shows that just over 23,000 workers’ compensation claims for time off were accepted in 2021.
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“This is a simple fix that will make people’s lives easier and help workers injured on the job get the care they need,” Sen. Chris Gorsek, D-Troutdale, the bill’s chief sponsor, said in a statement.
Unions that protect front-line workers, such as those in health care, manufacturing, food processing, and retail, support the move.
The Oregon AFL-CIO, a statewide group of unions representing 300,000 workers, told lawmakers that workers couldn’t use workers’ compensation to heal under the current system fully. The group said this is because workers are often given the OK to return to work, but they still need to visit doctors to get better.
Sean Scully a Twitter user also shared this news via a tweet.
The bill would allow Oregon workers to get paid for time spent on getting medical care or physical therapy to treat workplace injuries, report @ORCapChronicle and @statesnewsroom.https://t.co/BYgWlPnrgi
— Sean Scully (@EditorSean) April 12, 2023
“This leads to workers’ using their personal leave, sick time or other accrued paid time off just to go to medical appointments for their on-the-job injury,” the group said in submitted testimony.
“In far too many instances, workers are faced with the choice to fully drain their paid time off, or skip the appointment entirely because they cannot afford to miss work without compensation. This delay in care can have devastating impacts to the worker, the company and the community and economy at large.”
Source- Oregon Capital Chronicle