worker's compensation and salary

We have an salary paid employee who is limited duty and only allowed to work four hours a day. Are we required to pay the employee full salary since she is salaried and is working 1/2 days OR can we pay her half her salary and let worker's comp. pay her the 66 2/3 of what she isn't getting paid.

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  • Melynn,

    It sounds like your salaried employee is "temporarily partially disabled" and thus entitled to TPD benefits (as opposed to "temporarily totally disabled" and entitled to TTD benefits). Under Tennessee workers' comp law, TPD benefits are calculated as two-thirds of the difference between what the employee is actually earning and what was her average weekly wage at the time she was hurt. So, in essence, you're right... you will pay her according to your company policies what she is entitled to receive for working half-days while on a medical part-time leave (probably half salary), and the workers' comp insurer should pay two-thirds of the difference as TPD benefits.

    Maybe you're also asking because the slaried employee is treated as exempt under the FLSA, and your question is whether "deducting" (or "docking") salary for part-day absences will cause her not to be treated as "salaried" (and thus losing her FLSA exemption). First, the employee would not be working overtime when working half-days anyway. Second, the FLSA regulations say that in the case of an industrial accident, the "salary basis" requirement will be met if the employee is compensated for loss of salary in accordance with the applicable compensation law." So I don't think paying half salary would give the employee a claim that she was never, in fact, actually paid on a "salary basis," and thus never exempt.

    Hope this helps. Feel free to call at 423-756-6400, or e-mail me at [email][/email] if this raises other questions.

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