I had the opportunity to talk with 3 men who have had 30+ year careers with the United States Postal Service. We were talking about the fear that many federal employees have when thinking about reporting and filing an OWCP federal workers comp injury. They say that federal employees fear being fired if they report their injuries. Such a sad problem: like I always say, “Federal employees make this country go. When they break we have to fix them.”
Sadly, for reasons I can’t understand, there is a feeling that management might threaten or fire someone if they report their workers comp injury to OWCP. Keep in mind, I don’t have any first-hand knowledge of these threats; only the reports of multiple federal employees that I have spoken to. But here’s the good news: These 3 men with 30+ year careers with the USPS all said the same thing – “I’ve never seen a single person get fired for filing a workers comp injury.” That’s pretty great proof.
The key is following all the rules. DOL/OWCP has very clear guidelines on how a federal work injury should be handled. It starts with the CA-10, “What a Federal Employee Should Do When Injured at Work”. The CA-10 lays out 5 very clear and specific mandates for any federal employee who was hurt at work.
- Report your injury to your supervisor as soon as possible.
- Obtain medical care from any doctor that you choose and get a CA-16 from your supervisor if needed.
- File a written notice by filling out a CA-1 or CA-2 with your supervisor.
- Get a receipt for your CA-1 / CA-2 from your supervisor.
- Submit a claim for COP/leave, and/or compensation for wage loss.
These 5 things are mandates for you and they are clearly mandates for your supervisors as well. THIS IS THE LAW. It does not say to report your injury even if it’s not severe or to report your injury if you want to or to report your injury only if you think it won’t upset your supervisor. And it does not say for the supervisor to authorize your care with a CA-16 only if he/she feels like it. And, it does not say that the supervisor only fills out his/her portion of the CA-1 / CA-2 as long as they believe it’s actually work-related or only if they have time to do so.
These 5 things must be done every time you experience any work-related injury or illness – EVERY TIME. So, follow the rules and don’t fear that you will lose your job. Take the CA-10 with you to your supervisor so that you both can be on the same page from the very beginning. The law provides you excellent protection when you are hurt at work for a federal employer and you need to file an OWCP / DOL workers compensation injury claim.
For assistance with a federal OWCP work injury claim in Denton, McKinney, Allen, Plano, Richardson, Lewisville, Frisco, Little Elm, Corinth, Lake Dallas, or anywhere else in Denton, Dallas, or Collin Counties, please contact Federal Injury Centers for personal attention and expert assistance.