Sec. 31-312. Compensation for time lost during and expense of medical treatment. Reimbursement of wages lost due to appearance at informal hearing. Payments to prevailing claimants in contested cases. Medical attention outside regular work hours. (a) An employee receiving medical attention under the provisions of this chapter and required to be absent from work for medical treatment, examination, laboratory tests, x-rays 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, but not less than at the minimum wage established by law, provided the amount payable in any one week shall not exceed the employee’s weekly compensation rate. Time lost from the job shall include necessary travel time from the plant to the place of treatment, the time for the treatment and any other time that is necessary for the treatment, examination or laboratory test. The employer shall furnish or pay for the transportation of the employee by ambulance or taxi where transportation is medically required from the point of departure for treatment and return. In all other cases, the employer shall furnish the employee transportation or reimbursement for the cost of transportation actually used, at a rate equal to the federal mileage reimbursement rate for use of a privately owned automobile set forth in 41 CFR Part 301-10.303, as from time to time amended, for a private motor vehicle or the cost incurred for public transportation, from the employee’s point of departure, whether from the employee’s home or place of employment, and return, if the employee is required to travel beyond a one-fare limit on an available common carrier from the point of departure to the place of treatment, examination or laboratory test. Where the medical attention or treatment is provided at a time other than during the employee’s regular working hours and the employee is not otherwise receiving or eligible to receive weekly compensation, the employee shall be compensated for the time involved for the medical treatment as though it were time lost from the job at the rate of the employee’s average hourly earnings and shall be paid for the cost of necessary transportation as provided in this subsection.
(b) When a claimant is given notice to appear at a conference or an informal hearing before a commissioner and does appear, he shall be entitled to reimbursement of wages lost by reason of the appearance if he is not then receiving compensation for the appearance as provided in this subsection. When liability or extent of disability is contested by formal hearing before the commissioner, the claimant shall be entitled, if he prevails on final judgment, to payment for services rendered him by a competent physician or surgeon for examination, x-ray, medical tests and testimony in connection with the claim, the commissioner to determine the reasonableness of the charges, and he shall be entitled to receive payment of one-fifth of the weekly compensation, as computed in accordance with section 31-310, for each day, or part thereof, that he is in attendance at the formal hearing if he is not then receiving compensation.
(c) No employer shall require any person receiving medical attention under the provisions of this chapter to receive such medical attention outside the person’s regular work hours if such work hours overlap or coincide with the office hours of the treating physician.
(1959, P.A. 580, S. 9; 1961, P.A. 491, S. 35; 1969, P.A. 696, S. 12; 1971, P.A. 474; P.A. 79-376, S. 48; P.A. 80-10; P.A. 91-32, S. 30, 41; P.A. 01-33.)
History: 1961 act entirely replaced previous provisions; 1969 act expanded and clarified employer’s responsibility to furnish or pay for transportation, replacing previous provision which simply stated that costs for travel “outside the one fare limit from the plant to the place of treatment and return shall be borne by the employer and shall not be included in the maximum limit set forth above”; 1971 act added Subsec. (b) prohibiting employer from requiring treatment to occur outside injured employee’s regular work hours; P.A. 79-376 replaced “workmen’s compensation” with “workers’ compensation”; P.A. 80-10 increased transportation allowance from $0.10 to $0.15 per mile; P.A. 91-32 made technical changes, added new Subsec. (b) re claimant’s right to reimbursement for certain expenses and redesignated existing Subsec. (b) as Subsec. (c); P.A. 01-33 amended Subsec. (a) by changing the mileage reimbursement rate from $0.15 per mile to a rate equal to the federal mileage reimbursement rate for use of a privately owned automobile and made technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality.