Published Date: 02/03/2014
By Pat Rountree
There are state and federal laws that address employer responsibilities when it comes to expenses related to medical exams or treatment.
The North Carolina law applies to employers with 25 or more employees. It states that the employer may not require applicants to pay the cost of having a medical exam or providing any records that are required as a condition of hiring.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires covered employers to pay employees for the time spent during normal working hours for employer-directed medical treatment, including waiting time when seeking treatment, as well as the travel time involved if the medical treatment is off-site. This is considered hours worked. Travel time and waiting time for follow-up treatments would require payment as hours worked only if they are employer directed during working hours (not if arranged between the employee and their doctor). For more information, go to http://j.mp/med-a.
For a workers’ compensation injury, under NC Industrial Commission rules, the employer or their insurance carrier directs medical treatment. Employers would follow the FLSA rule regarding payment for hours worked as far as time spent in seeking treatment and travel time during the seven-day waiting period. The cost for medical treatment would be covered subject to the NC Workers’ Compensation law, and lost time after seven days would be paid at 66-2/3 of the average weekly wage subject to the maximum. Travel for treatment would also be reimbursed by the carrier under workers’ compensation laws after seven days if the round trip travel exceeds 20 miles. For more information, go to http://j.mp/ic-q or contact a member of CAI's Advice & Resolution Team at 919‑878‑9222 or 336‑668‑7746.