Injury leave for school employees amended, advanced

Lawmakers gave second-round approval July 20 to a bill under which school employees would receive injury leave if they are injured by another person while at work.

Sen. Mike Hilgers
Sen. Mike Hilgers

Lincoln Sen. Mike Hilgers, sponsor of LB1186, has said teachers who cannot work after being assaulted while on the job currently may receive workers’ compensation benefits after seven days. If they are absent for seven or fewer days, however, they must use personal or sick leave, he said.

Under LB1186, a school district employee who is physically injured by another person who “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury” to that employee would receive injury leave and be paid their usual salary for the time they are absent and unable to work as a result of the injury.

The employee’s injury must have occurred within their scope of employment in a way that would be covered by the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act.

Under an amendment Hilgers introduced on select file, an employee would receive no additional compensation under the act for any day that they already have been paid injury leave.

Hilgers said the amendment also would clarify that an employee would receive no more than seven calendar days of injury leave. After that, LB1186 would require the employee to use workers’ compensation benefits.

Under the bill’s provisions, injury leave would not count against any other leave an employee accrues. In determining the applicability of injury leave, a school district could require confirmation from a physician regarding the causation and the period of time for which an employee is unable to work.

The Hilgers amendment would allow a district to withhold injury leave until the employee provides confirmation.

Senators voted 45-0 to adopt the amendment and advanced LB1186 to final reading by voice vote.

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