Pedagogues – teachers, guidance counselors, school secretaries, psychologists, social workers and lab specialists – injured or made sick on the job are covered by the Injury-in-the-Line-of-Duty provision of the UFT-DOE contract.
Under this provision, injured or sick pedagogues may apply for important benefits including paid time-off from work to recover and reimbursement of medical expenses.
If you are injured in the line of duty, your health plan covers your medical care. In addition, the UFT convinced the DOE to waive its normal $750 limit on un-reimbursed medical expenses on a case-by-case basis for those who are assaulted while on duty in an unprovoked attack by a student, parent or stranger. The form used to request reimbursement as a result of an assault is an OP 505.
Until the DOE grants line-of-duty status, days absent come out of your sick bank (CAR). These days will be restored once you are granted line-of-duty status and your pay will continue as usual. If you have to miss work to appear in court, the days will not come out of your sick bank – as long as you file the appropriate paperwork.
In addition, in the event of an assault the union’s legal services department will notify you in writing of your legal rights and assist you in pressing criminal charges, including representation in court. If you suspect that your school was in some way culpable, your UFT borough office or the Victim Support Program will also arrange a free consultation with an outside attorney.
Victims of assault or similar incidents can also contact the Victim Support Program at 212-598-6853 for other support services, including practical advice, counseling, and assistance with the police, the judicial system, and the DOE’s medical division.
How to access Injury-in-the-Line-of-Duty benefits
In order to access your rights and benefits under the Injury-in-the-Line-of-Duty provision of the UFT-DOE contract, you must follow certain procedures.
- Unless your injury or illness prevents you, immediately notify your chapter leader and principal of any accident or other incident. All accidents should be reported – even if the injury is not obvious or is seemingly inconsequential.
- Complete the DOE's Comprehensive Injury Report (your school secretary will have it) and return it to your principal within 24 hours.
- See a doctor as soon as possible. Get a note from your doctor describing the extent of your injury and the anticipated time you will need to recover.
- Leaves for line-of-duty injuries must now be requested via the Department of Education's Self-Service Online Leave of Absence System (SOLAS). SOLAS replaces the old forms, OP 198 and OP 407. You should request line-of-duty-injury status (LODI) from the day of your first absence to the date that your doctor says you can return to work.
- Complete an OP 200 Execution of Assignment form and file it with your payroll secretary as soon as possible. The OP 200 must be notarized.
- If you have been the victim of an assault, you should file a police report at the nearest precinct as soon as possible and seek medical attention if you are injured.
- Complete a UFT Incident Report online as soon as possible and inform your Chapter Leader. You may call the UFT Safety and Health Department directly at 1-212-598-6853 to check on the status of your case.
- If you will be absent for more than 10 days, contact the DOE’s Medical Bureau at 718-935-2731 to schedule an appointment for a physical examination as soon as possible.
- If you intend to sue the DOE, contact your UFT Borough Office as soon as possible. The borough office can refer you to an attorney. Keep in mind that an Intent-to-Sue/Notice of Claim legal referral form must be filed by you or an attorney within 90 calendar days of the date of your accident or illness.
- In some cases, the superintendent or the DOE's Medical Bureau will refuse to grant line-of-duty status and it may be necessary to file a grievance or file for medical arbitration, respectively. Please contact your UFT district representative or UFT borough office in either case. Learn what to do if your LODI is medically denied.
Resources and forms
- Necessary Procedures for Injury-in-the-Line-of-Duty Status Check List
This letter summarizes procedures that pedagogical employees should know regarding work-related injuries.
- LODI Quick-Card
What you need to know about line-of-duty injuries.
- The Department of Education's Self-Service Online Leave of Absence System (SOLAS)
- Comprehensive Injury Report
This form details the nature of your injuries. It should be turned in to your principal within 24 hours of your accident or illness.
- UFT Incident Report
Use this online form to notify the UFT School Safety Department if you have been the victim of an assault and inform your chapter leader.
- Department of Education Occurrence Report
Your principal must file this report within 24 hours of receiving it. You must sign to acknowledge seeing it and can add a statement.
- Execution of Assignment Form (OP 200)
This legal form, which must be notarized, states that if you sue the DOE and win, you will return the money paid to you in salary for the period of your absence.
- Request for Reimbursement for Loss or Damage to Personal Property (OP 504)
The DOE will reimburse you up to $100 for stolen or destroyed property, but only if the property is of the type that is normally brought into school! There are special procedures for eyeglasses damaged in assault cases.
- Request for Reimbursement of Medical Expenses (OP 505)
Once line-of-duty status has been approved, you can use this form to request reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical expenses to a maximum of $750. In addition, the UFT convinced the DOE to waive its normal $750 limit on un-reimbursed medical expenses on a case-by-case basis for those who are assaulted while on duty in an unprovoked attack by a student, parent or stranger.
- Personnel Memorandum #4 –Policy and Procedures on Line of Duty Injuries for Pedagogical Employees
This personnel memo has not been updated by the DOE and still references forms OP 198 and OP 407, which have now been superseded by the online SOLAS system; however, the other information remains relevant.
Should you have the misfortune of being assaulted, injured, or made ill while on duty, the rights you gain through our contract offer you protection and strong support.