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Workers comp can end in termination
A city official says it is fairly common for a municipality to tell an employee with a workers compensation claim not to come back.

The city of Brunswick now has $76,000 less in its coffers after settling a workers compensation claim with an employee who sustained a back injury on the job.

According to the settlement, the employee must resign his position and not seek employment with the city in the future.

The city did not say what kind of work the employee was doing when the injury occurred.

Termination is not an unusual provision in a workers compensation settlement, said Bonnie Roberts, director of human resources for the city.

She said the city typically tries to find another type of work for an employee who is injured on the job. That's not always possible, however, she said.

City Finance Director Kathy Mills said the settlement will have little impact on the municipality's bottom line, even though the huge payment is coming out of the city's budget since Brunswick's workers compensation is self-funded.

"We budget a set amount every year to deposit into the (workers compensation) account to handle claims," Mills said. "We have enough built up in the account to pay the settlement without affecting the city's finances.

"Of course, you can only predict future claims based on prior experience, but at the present time that account has more than enough funds in it to handle the claim."

Seven claims have been filed by city employees since January, but just one has ended in a settlement so far this year.

Glynn County saw five claims end in a settlement in 2012.

* Reporter Nikki Wiley writes about government, business and other local topics. Contact her at nwiley@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 321.



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