The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act requires employers to pay injured employees for time lost due to traveling to and attending medical appointments for a work-related injury. The Act provides that the amount paid is to be based on the employee’s “average daily wages.,” Average daily wages is not defined in the Act. However, we believe average daily wages means exactly what is says—the injured employee is entitled to be paid for time lost due to traveling to and attending medical appointment at the employer’s actual wages. For example, an injured employee who earns $10 per hour and averages 8 hours per day has an average daily wage is $80. If that employee loses 2.5 hours of time traveling to and attending a medical appointment for a work-related injury, that employee is entitled to be reimbursed the $25 for the lost time.
Many employers do not require their employers to clock out to travel to and attend medical appointments. For those that do, the injured employee should seek reimbursement for that lost time.
Also, many employers require injured employers to schedule their appointments outside of work hours so no lost work time will occur. While it appears as if there is no obligation under the Worker’s Compensation Act to reimburse if no work time is lost, there may be a claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), especially if the time traveling to and attending medical appointments plus the time actually worked adds up to over 40 hours in one work week.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact us.