Article 34

Employee Disability Compensation (OWCP)

Section 1--Counseling

A.  The Employer agrees that when an employee suffers job-related illness or injury in the performance of duties and reports it to his or her supervisor, the supervisor and/or the personnel office will counsel the affected employee as to the following:

1.  His/her right to file for compensation benefits;

2.  The types of benefits available; and

3.  The procedure for filing claims.

B.  The supervisor will notify the local Union steward when he or she becomes aware that a bargaining unit employee has filed an OWCP claim.

C.  An employee who has filed for compensation benefits will be counseled, upon request, by his/her supervisor and/or a personnel specialist at any stage in the processing of the case concerning such options as may be available to the employee at that point.

Section 2--Employee Options

A.  An employee with a job-related injury/illness (including conditions aggravated by job-related factors) may elect to be placed on sick or annual leave instead of leave without pay, pending approval or disapproval of his/her compensation claim.

B.  Employees shall have the option of buying back the leave used and having it reinstated to their account if their claim for compensation is approved.

Section 3--Placement of OWCP Claimants

A.  Where the employee requests and supports his/her request with appropriate medical information, the Employer will make a serious effort to assign the employee on a temporary basis to duties consistent with the employee's medical needs, pending resolution of his/her claim.

B.  Where the employee requests and supports his/her request with an approved OWCP claim and appropriate medical information, the Employer