Workers' Compensation


This guide is intended to provide a general overview of the process that employees must follow if they incur a work-related injury or illness. Please direct questions regarding this guide to Sonoma State University’s Workers’ Compensation, ADA, and Leave Specialist.


Failure to observe these procedures will jeopardize payment of benefits by Sedgwick CMS (e.g. non-payment of medical bills and unapproved absences).


Safety is a subject we must all be aware of both at home and at work. Here at the University, being aware of one's surroundings and situations that could cause injury, reporting unsafe conditions, and protecting all members of the campus community are obligations that we all must share.

Work-Related Injuries

The purpose of workers' compensation is to provide medical care to employees who are injured at work as well as compensation if the employee cannot work due to the injury. Workers' Compensation is a program that provides benefits to the employee no matter who was at fault. The University and its auxiliaries provide Workers' Compensation to all of its employees injured on the job, including paid student assistants.

The Sonoma State University Workers' Compensation benefits program is administered by Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., P.O. Box 2078, Oakland, CA 94612. Telephone: 1-800-225-2998.

To report a work-related injury please see the Guide to Reporting a Work Related Injury/Illness.

In an effort to prevent future incidents, the department of Environmental Health and Safety may reach out to the injured employee and their manager to investigate the incident. This investigation would be to determine root cause and any contributing factors, not to find fault.

Injuries on the Job

Emergency or After Hours Situations

In an emergency, call 911. A University Police Officer will examine the injury and coordinate appropriate action. For injuries occurring at night or on weekends, employees will be directed to Kaiser Permanente Emergency Room, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa, CA, (707) 571-4800.

Non-Emergency Situations

Tell your appropriate administrator or School Dean about injuries that occur on the job or pain that you are feeling while performing your duties. You should report all accidents immediately or no later than 24 hours after the injury occurs. Your report should include an explanation of what happened on the job to cause the injury. It is important to report injuries as soon as possible in order to receive the best medical care possible. Timely reporting of minor injuries will prevent any problems if complications with the injury occur. If you feel that a problem has developed over a period of time because of job duties, you should discuss it with your appropriate administrator or School Dean as soon as you suspect a work connection.

Your work-related injury can be examined and treated by Kaiser Occupational Health Center in Santa Rosa or Petaluma. Or, if you have a Pre-Designated Physician Form on file with Workers’ Compensation, you can visit the pre-designated physician of your choice. For you to receive the initial treatment for your injury, please contact the Workers’ Compensation, ADA, and Leave Specialist to schedule the appointment. After the initial visit, you can schedule your own follow-up appointments.

Medical Documentation

After you receive treatment, the medical providers at Kaiser Occupational Health Center or your pre-designated physician will provide you with a work status report or doctor's certification. Please give this to your appropriate administrator or School Dean, discuss the contents and follow the prescribed course of treatment. Your appropriate administrator or School Dean will then send this document to Workers’ Compensation. If you are not reacting well to a prescribed drug or if you feel that the course of treatment is not working, please communicate this information to the medical providers as soon as possible. Your perceptions and observations are an important part of the information the physician needs for effective treatment.

On-Going Medical Treatment

Obtain a doctor's certification and continue to communicate with your appropriate administrator or School Dean after each medical appointment. If there are any required work restrictions, inform your appropriate administrator or School Dean immediately. Failure to obtain a doctor's certification may jeopardize your ability to receive benefits in a timely manner.

Release to Return to Work

Your doctor will provide you with a written medical release to work. If your injury was severe enough to require absence from work, the medical release is required. This release can be unconditional, in which case you can return to full duties, or limited, requiring that you limit your duties in some way (such as lifting no more than a certain amount of weight). If your release is limited, discuss these limitations with your appropriate administrator or School Dean and the Workers' Compensation, ADA, and Leave Specialist to see if your department can work with your limitations, and continue to see the doctor until you can obtain a release to return to full duties.

Recreational Activities

If you voluntarily engage in recreational, social, or athletic activities outside your normal work duties (for example, if you play a game of volleyball or baseball during lunch hour), the University or Sedgwick Claims Management Services may not be liable for any injuries incurred as a result of those activities.

Disability Benefits

If you become disabled as a result of a work-related injury or illness, there are programs available to provide compensation to you. The programs may include, but are not limited to: temporary disability, industrial disability leave, and permanent disability. Each of these programs provides a level of income replacement. (The exact terms and conditions of these programs are provided under law and can be based on agreements in bargaining unit contracts). If you become disabled, you will receive specific information as to what programs are available to you.

California Department of Industrial Relations website

Please visit the State of California's Department of Industrial Relations for additional information, publications and facts for the injured worker, regarding rights and obligations.