Mileage Reimbursement For Snowbirds Returning To Connecticut For Medical Treatment

John Evensen v. City of Stamford, et al.,  5541CRB-7-104 (March 31, 2011) 

A Stamford police officer retired to Florida after having suffered numerous compensable injuries.  The trial commissioner awarded mileage reimbursement for three trips in which he had driven back to Connecticut for medical treatment, subject to proof that he had attended such visits, and further, the respondent was directed to pay for prospective trips using the most inexpensive mode of transportation available. 

The CRB vacated the award with regard to the past trips holding that the claimant is entitled to return to Connecticut for medical care under §31-312 if such treatment is reasonable and necessary, but the claimant must seek the approval of the respondents or the commissioner prior to embarking on the trip.  The CRB upheld the trial commissioner’s ruling concerning prospective trips so long as the claimant and respondent coordinate the trip for reasonable and necessary treatment prior to the commencement of travel.

Can My Employer Make Me Clock Out?

If you have been hurt, but returned to the job, can your employer make you clock out to go to one of your doctors with whom you are treating, for the work-related accident? The answer: it depends. If you are receiving a temporary differential payment while you are at work because you are working fewer hours, or because you are earning less money due to your restrictions, then the employer can make you clock out. However, if you have returned to your regular job, at your regular pay, but you continue to need medical treatment, then your employer must pay you for the time you are away from your job, including travel time. C.G.S. §31-312 provides an employee receiving medical attention under the provisions of this chapter, and required to be absent from work for medical treatment, examination, laboratory tests or other diagnostic procedures and not otherwise receiving or eligible to receive weekly compensation, shall be compensated for the time lost from the job for required medical treatment and tests at the rate of such employee’s average earnings … Time lost … shall include necessary travel time from the plant to the place of treatment the time for the treatment …”
The statute also provides that if the visit with the doctor is outside of the employee’s working hours, you have to be paid “as though it were time lost from the job at the rate of the employee’s average hourly earning …”