Workers' Compensation Policy
Vanguard's policy is to provide a safe work environment and comply with applicable state workers' compensation laws. Crew members are responsible for adhering to safe workplace practices and following this policy.
Injury or illness on the job
The following steps must be taken when a crew member experiences an injury or illness in the course of employment.
- The crew member must immediately report any work-related injury or illness to his or her supervisor.
- The crew member or next level of management must complete an Incident Reporting Form within 24 hours of the incident. See the Incident Reporting Form under Take Action.
- When the Incident Reporting Form is received, Crew Central™ will work with the crew member to obtain any additional information necessary to file the claim with Vanguard's workers' compensation insurance carrier.
- Crew Central will send the crew member appropriate information, based on the crew member's location:
- The workers' compensation claim number.
- The panel provider list (PA and NC only).
- The Employee Notification Form (PA only).
- The Workers' Compensation Information Form (PA only).
- The insurance carrier generates all the paperwork and subsequently contacts the crew member. The insurance company will decide if the claim is compensable.
Obtaining medical care for workers' compensation-related injuries or illnesses
- If the crew member receives medical treatment related to a workers' compensation claim, treatment for first 90 days must be provided by one of Vanguard's designated health care providers* for work-related illnesses or injuries. After the first 90 days of treatment, crew members may continue treatment with the designated health care provider or select their own provider, but they must notify Crew Central (see below).
- Because PA crew members are required to use a designated provider for the first 90 days, the following stipulations also apply:
- If the PA crew member does not visit a designated provider during the first 90 days of treatment for the illness or injury, Vanguard is not responsible for payment for treatment. The crew member must remain with one or more of the designated providers for at least the first 90 days.
- If the PA crew member visits a provider of his or her choice after the first 90 days of treatment by a designated provider, by law, the crew member must notify Crew Central within five days of the first visit to the new provider. Without such notification, Vanguard is not obligated to pay for any treatment deemed unreasonable or unnecessary.
- If the PA crew member refuses reasonable services offered by a designated health provider, all workers' compensation benefits rights are forfeited. As long as the crew member follows the regulations listed in this policy, the provider cannot bill the crew member for any charges not paid by workers' compensation.
- North Carolina:
- Medical treatment for workers' compensation claims must be provided by one of Vanguard's designated health care providers* throughout the life of the claim.
- Crew members may select their own health care provider* for treatment.
- All other states:
- Crew members should contact Crew Central for assistance by submitting a case or calling Ext. 1CREW or 844-VG1-CREW (844-841-2739).
- In all states, if medication is required because of an injury, the crew member must call the pharmacy provider, Healthesystems, at 800-758-5779. See the prescription form in Research for details.
*A list of workers' compensation health care providers in each state is provided under Research. CrewCare, Vanguard's onsite health clinic, is included in the list of providers for each site.
Note: Vanguard may request an independent medical examination of the crew member at its discretion.
Benefits are paid through Vanguard's workers' compensation insurance carrier and include approved medical treatment payments and wage replacement. When you are on a workers' compensation leave, the time will be designated as family and medical leave (FML) to the extent it is available.
Under applicable law, you are generally entitled to compensation benefits equal to two-thirds of your weekly wage, up to an indexed maximum. There is a seven-calendar-day waiting period in most states. While receiving workers' compensation benefits, you will not receive a Vanguard salary at the same time.
Wage replacement benefits are as follows:
|State||Waiting period||Wage replacement for total disability|
|Arizona||The waiting period is seven days. Benefits are paid retroactively to dates of injury if disability continues longer than two weeks, and paid from the eighth day if disability continues between 8–13 days.||66⅔% worker's average monthly wage; maximum weekly payment is $665.53.|
|North Carolina||The waiting period is seven days. Benefits are paid retroactively to dates of injury if disability continues longer than 21 days.||66⅔% worker's average weekly wage; maximum weekly payment is $920.|
|Pennsylvania||The waiting period is seven days. Benefits are paid retroactively to dates of injury if disability continues longer than 2 weeks, and paid from the eighth day if disability continues between 8–13 days.||66⅔% worker's average weekly wage; maximum weekly payment is $951.|
Overpayment of benefits
Vanguard may recover any amount inadvertently overpaid to you or any amount paid to which you were not entitled under the terms of this policy.
Partnership and bonus payments are not impacted by your time on workers' compensation leave. Both Partnership and bonus payments are paid to you on the normal distribution dates while you are receiving workers' compensation benefits.
Upon your return, your merit review and appraisal process will take place.
FlexCare benefits and payments
The FlexCare program includes coverage for health, dental, vision, prescription, life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance; long-term disability (LTD), flexible spending accounts (FSAs); purchased Paid Time Off (PTO); and group legal.
FlexCare benefits while on leave
If you are on paid workers' compensation, you may continue your participation in all FlexCare benefits, or you may cease participation, except for group legal, which must be continued.
- If you elect to continue participation in FlexCare benefits while on leave, additional payroll deductions will occur when you return to work to make up for the missed FlexCare payments.
- If you elect to cease participation in FlexCare benefits while on leave, they will be discontinued during your leave and reinstated once you notify Crew Central of your return to active employment. Under this option, you cannot submit any claims for FlexCare benefits, including any reimbursement claims for FSA-related expenses incurred while coverage was discontinued. Because participation in group legal cannot be discontinued, missed payments for this benefit will be deducted when you return to work.
- If your employment with Vanguard terminates before your return from leave, you will be responsible for any payments due for missed FlexCare benefits deductions.
- If you are on an unpaid leave, you may be entitled to modify your FlexCare benefits due to a change in status. Please refer to the Benefits summary plan description (SPD) in Research or contact Crew Central with questions concerning the status change rules.
Annual Open Enrollment
If you are on workers' compensation leave during the annual Open Enrollment period, the Open Enrollment information will be forwarded to your home address if you do not have CrewNet External access. If you are unable to complete the Open Enrollment information, your previous year's elections will remain in effect for the new plan year, excluding the flexible spending accounts, legal plan, and the purchase of additional PTO, which will be terminated.
If your coverage is terminated, you may continue health care (medical, dental, prescription drug, vision, and/or health care FSA participation) coverage through COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, a federal law).
PTO will not accrue while you are on leave; accrual is based on the time actually worked. PTO must be used in the year it accrues.
- Volunteer time off (VTO)
Workers' compensation leave will not affect your VTO; however, you may not use VTO while on leave.
- Holiday time
Holiday time will not be paid during workers' compensation leave. For more details, please refer to the Payroll Practices Policy.
- Academic assistance
In order to receive reimbursement, you must have been employed with Vanguard full-time before the start of the course and must not be on a paid or unpaid leave of absence at the time the reimbursement is scheduled to be paid to you. If you are on a paid or unpaid leave of absence, you will not receive such reimbursements unless and until you return to work.
- Family and medical leave (FML)
Workers' compensation leave runs concurrently with FML to the extent it is available.
- Vanguard Retirement and Savings Plan (RSP)
Salary deferrals and matching contributions (if eligible) to the RSP will be suspended during your leave. Plan loan payments may be suspended during workers' compensation leave for a period of up to 12 months total of unpaid leave (including any other type of unpaid leave that may be taken before or after). Upon the earlier of the expiration of the 12-month period or return from leave, all missed loan payments must be paid in a manner and at such time as determined by Crew Central. Failure to make up missed loan payments may result in a taxable distribution.
Vanguard quarterly contributions to the retirement plan source are based on your quarterly earnings if you are eligible; therefore, your quarterly contribution will be decreased as a result of a workers' compensation leave taken during the quarter.
Workers' compensation leave will not be treated as, or counted toward, a "break in service" under the RSP.
Plan documents control: In the event of any inconsistency between this policy and any of Vanguard's retirement or health and welfare benefit plans, the provisions of the applicable plan documents will control.
If the workers' compensation leave qualifies as FML and does not exceed your FML entitlement, you will be returned to your original or an equivalent position in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
If the workers' compensation leave does not qualify as FML or exceeds your FML entitlement, you may return to your former position if it is available. If your former position is no longer available, you may post for another position within the company. You will have 60 days to obtain a new position, during which you will be on an unpaid administrative leave. An Employment Department contact will be assigned to you during the 60-day period.
Vanguard and our workers' compensation vendor will administer your leave; however, our third-party disability management company, Sedgwick, is the administrator for leaves taken under FMLA and may reach out to you to inform you of (1) your FMLA entitlement, and/or (2) your FMLA availability/available balance during your leave.
Generally, the maximum amount of time you can remain a crew member while on workers' compensation leave is 18 months. Although your employment may be terminated after 18 months, you may continue to receive workers' compensation income benefits if you are still eligible. Our workers' compensation management company will determine your eligibility.
Vanguard reserves the right to restrict your computer access during your leave.
Return to work
- Crew Central will contact you approximately three working days before your expected return-to-work date to confirm your return. Crew Central also contacts the next level of management.
- Before returning, you must have your attending physician complete a Certification of Return to Work Status Form. This form must be returned to Crew Central no later than 10 a.m. of the crew member's return date. The certification should include any restrictions in hours or duties. This form is included in the initial benefits packet Crew Central provides once notified of the leave.
- You or your next level of management must contact Crew Central the day you return to work to confirm that you have returned.
- Crew Central will update your case and initiate your return-from-leave process.
- Crew Central will also adjust your PTO and notify you of any adjustments.
- If you do not return to work on the agreed-upon date, your employment may be terminated.
- If you decide to terminate employment while on workers' compensation leave, your notification date will serve as the termination date.
Departmental management is responsible for implementing and enforcing this policy. The Human Resources managing director is responsible for the overall administration and interpretation of the policy.