Archive for Thursday, January 8, 2004

City pondering supplementing workers’ comp

January 8, 2004

The city of Eudora is considering a plan that would compensate city workers injured on the job for all lost time. The Eudora City Council discussed the issue twice last month and is having the city administrator draft a policy for consideration.
Council member Scott Hopson raised the issue early in December, after a street crew worker was injured on the job. He questioned the current practice, which has the city paying the workers two-thirds of their regular wages and workers using sick leave and vacation days to supplement their missing income.
"I just don't want to see anyone losing money when they're doing a job for the city," Hopson said.
That's not city policy, said City Attorney Jerry Cooley -- it's state law. He said a worker's first week was not compensated, but after that week it was picked up after the fact. Moreover, he said two-thirds pay was not that much of a deduction because workers didn't pay taxes on those wages.
The city couldn't change that policy, but Cooley said it could draft a policy to pick up the difference. In an informal survey of Kansas cities, City Administrator Mike Yanez reported varying practices, from cities that did no type of reimbursement for lost wages to those that picked up the difference for varying amounts of time. Hopson had offered that reimbursement should be available only to city workers injured on the clock while doing work rather than "horseplay." However, Cooley said having the city decide who does or doesn't get reimbursement for lost pay put the city in a compromising situation.
"Politically to me that seems like a tough call," Cooley said.
The Council meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Eudora City Hall.

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