In private industry, on-the-job injuries are governed by the Workers’ Compensation Law found at T.C.A. § 50-6-101 et seq. The application of this law is mandatory in the private sector. In the public sector, pursuant to T.C.A. § 50-6-106, the General Assembly has allowed counties and municipal corporations to elect whether they want to be covered by the Workers’ Compensation Law. The county should have a resolution of the county legislative body and a policy in place stating whether the employer has elected to come under the Workers’ Compensation Law, and if not, how leave for these injuries is handled. If the county has elected not to be covered by the Workers’ Compensation Law, then the leave policies will need to include more extensive provisions concerning leave for in-line-of-duty injury. The policy needs to address such areas as notice of the injury, injuries not covered, compensation and extended injury leave provisions.
Workers’ compensation issues are complex and the county employer should seek the advice of competent legal counsel and risk management experts in determining its policies and procedures with regard to this topic.