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Executive Order 1722½

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By virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 5 of the Panama Canal Act, approved August 24, 1912, directing the President to "provide a method for the determination and adjustment of all claims arising out of personal injuries to employees thereafter occurring while directly engaged in actual work in connection with the construction, maintenance, operation or sanitation of the Canal, or of the Panama Railroad, or of any auxiliary canals, locks or other works necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation or sanitation of the Canal, whether such injuries result in death or not, and prescribe a schedule of compensation therefor," I hereby establish the following Order for the Canal Zone:


Section 1. The United States or the Panama Railroad Company shall pay compensation as hereinafter specified for personal injuries to their respective employees occurring after March 1st, 1913, while such employees are directly engaged in actual work in connection with the construction, maintenance, operation or sanitation of the Canal, or of the Panama Railroad, or of any auxiliary canals, locks or other works necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation or sanitation of the Canal, whether such injuries result in death or not; but no compensation shall be paid if the injury is caused (1) by the employee's intention to bring about the injury or death of himself or of another, or (2) by his intoxication.


Section 2. Compensation the exclusive remedy.—Except as provided in this order, the United States and the Panama Railroad Company shall not be liable for personal injury to or the death of an employee for which compensation is provided in Section 1 hereof.


Section 3. Waiting period.—During the first five days of disability resulting from the injury the employee shall not be entitled to compensation, except as provided in Section 9. No compensation shall at any time be paid for such period.


Section 4. Total disability.—If the injury results in total disability, there shall be paid to the employee a monthly compensation equal to fifty per cent. of his monthly pay. This compensation shall be paid during such disability, not exceeding a period of six years from the fifth day of disability of any kind resulting from the injury. After such period of six years there shall be paid to the employee during such disability a monthly compensation equal to not more than forty per cent, and not less than twenty-five per cent, of his monthly pay.


Section 5. Partial disability.—If the injury results in partial disability, there shall be paid to the employee a monthly compensation equal to fifty per cent. of the difference between his monthly pay and his wage earning capacity per month after the beginning of such partial disability. This compensation shall be paid during such disability for a period not exceeding six years from the fifth day of disability of any kind resulting from the injury. After such period of six years, there shall be paid to the employee during such disability a monthly compensation equal to not more than forty per cent. and not less than twenty-five per cent. of the difference between his monthly pay and his wage earning capacity per month after such period of six years.


Section 6. Affidavit as to wages.—After the beginning of partial disability the Governor of the Panama Canal may, from time to time, require the injured employee to make an affidavit as to the wages per month which he is receiving. In the statement of the wages the value of rent, board, lodging and other advantages received from the employer, which can be estimated in money, shall be taken into account. If the employee at any time fails to make such affidavit, he shall not be entitled to any compensation while such failure continues, and the period of such failure shall be deducted from the period during which compensation is payable to the employee.


Section 7. Refusal to work.—If the employee refuses to work after suitable work is furnished to or secured for him by the United States or the Panama Railroad Company he shall not be entitled to any compensation while such refusal continues, and the period of such refusal shall be deducted from the period during which compensation is payable to the employee.


Section 8. Sick leave.—If at the time disability begins the employee has to his credit any unused sick leave, he may, at his option, subject to the approval of the Governor of the Panama Canal, use such leave until exhausted. During such time no compensation shall accrue, and any period of sick leave allowed on account of such disability after the first five days of disability shall be deducted from the period of six years referred to in Sections 4 and 5.


Section 9. Medical, etc., attendance.—There shall be furnished to the injured employee reasonable medical, surgical and hospital services and supplies, unless the employee elects to furnish his own physician or to care for himself. If in the opinion of the Governor of the Panama Canal a surgical operation is necessary, either to save the life of the injured employee or to render the disability less serious, and the employee refuses to submit to such operation, he shall not be entitled to any compensation thereafter, but in case of his death, compensation shall be paid as hereinafter provided.


Section 10. Transportation of injured employees.—If in the opinion of the Governor of the Panama Canal it is not desirable to continue the injured employee in the service, such employee, as soon as he is able to travel, shall, in the discretion of the Governor of the Panama Canal, be furnished transportation to his home. If at the time of the injury the employee is on the Isthmus, the Governor of the Panama Canal may, in his discretion, suspend, for such period as such employee remains on the Isthmus after free transportation has been offered to him as herein provided, the compensation payable to such employee.


Section 11. Death payments.—If the injury results in death within six years, there shall be paid to the following persons for the following periods a monthly compensation equal to the following percentages of the deceased employee's monthly pay:

(A) To the widow or widower if there is no child.—If wholly dependent for support upon the deceased employee at the time of the death, thirty-five per cent. for a period of six years from the date of the death, unless before that time such widow or widower dies or marries; after such period of six years not less than twenty per cent. nor more than thirty per cent. until death or marriage; if partly dependent, the compensation shall be a proportionate amount of the above compensation.
(B) To the widow or widower if there is a child.—The compensation payable under Clause A, and in addition thereto ten per cent. for each child, not to exceed a total of fifty per cent. for self and children; after the expiration of six years from the date of the death the total for self and children shall not exceed twenty-five to forty per cent. Compensation payable on account of any child shall cease when he dies, marries, or reaches the age of eighteen, or if over the age of eighteen and incapable of self-support becomes capable of self-support.
(C) To the children if there is no widow or widower.—Twenty-five per cent. for one child and ten per cent. additional for each additional child not to exceed a total of fifty per cent. divided among such children share and share alike. After the expiration of six years from the date of the death of the deceased employee, the total shall not exceed twenty-five to forty per cent. The compensation of each child shall be paid until he dies, marries or reaches the age of eighteen years, or if over the age of eighteen and incapable of self-support, becomes capable of self-support.
(D) To the parents, if there is no widow, widower or child.—If one is wholly dependent for support upon the deceased employee at the time of his death and the other is not dependent to any extent, twenty-five per cent; if both are wholly dependent, twenty per cent. to each; if one is or both are partly dependent a proportionate amount in the discretion of the Governor of the Panama Canal. This compensation shall be paid for a period of eight years from the time of the death, unless before that time the parent dies, marries or ceases to be dependent.
(E) To the brothers, sisters, grandchildren and grandparents, if there is no widow, widower, child or dependent parent.—If one is wholly dependent upon the deceased employee for support at the time of the death, twenty per cent.; if more than one are wholly dependent, thirty per cent., divided among them share and share alike. If there is no one of them wholly dependent, but one or more are partly dependent, ten per cent. divided among them share and share alike. The compensation of each beneficiary shall be paid for a period of eight years from the time of the death unless before that time he, if a grandparent dies, marries or ceases to be dependent, or, if a brother, sister or grandchild, dies, marries or reaches the age of eighteen years, or if over that age and incapable of self-support becomes capable of self-support.
(F). As used in this section, the term "child" and "children" include step-children, adopted children, posthumous children and illegitimate children, but do not include married children. The terms "brother" and "sister" and their plurals include stepbrothers and stepsisters, half-brothers and half-sisters, and brothers and sisters adopted by the parent of the deceased employee, but do not include married brothers and married sisters. The terms "grandchild" and "grandchildren" include children of adopted children, and children of stepchildren, but do not include step-children of children, step-children of stepchildren, stepchildren of adopted children or married grandchildren. All of the above terms include only persons under eighteen years of age or over that age and incapable of self-support. The terms "parent" and "parents" include step-parents and the parents by whom the deceased employee was adopted. The terms "grandparent" and "grandparents" include the parents of the parents by whom the deceased employee was adopted, but do not include parents of stepparents, step-parents of parents, or step-parents of step-parents. The term "widow" and "widower" include only the decedent's wife or husband actually dependent upon him or her for support at the time of the death.
(G) The period during which compensation was payable to the deceased employee before his death shall be deducted from the period of six years referred to in Clauses A, B, and C, and from the period of eight years referred to in Clauses D and E.
(H) Upon the cessation of compensation under this section to or on account of any person, the compensation of the remaining persons entitled to compensation for the unexpired part of the period during which their compensation is payable, shall be that which such persons would have received if they had been the only persons entitled to compensation at the time of the decedent's death.


Section 12. Burial expenses.—If the employee dies as a result of the injury away from his home, office or outside of the United States and compensation has not ceased, his body shall, if practicable, or if desired by his relatives, and if transportation has not been furnished the employee under Section 10 before his death, be embalmed and transported in a hermetically sealed casket to the home of the employee if such home is within the United States. If death occurs on the Isthmus and the body is not transported away from the Isthmus, the body shall be interred on the Isthmus at the expense of the United States or of the Panama Railroad.


Section 13. Computation of pay.—If the monthly pay of the employee is over two hundred dollars a month, the monthly pay shall be considered to be two hundred dollars. Subject to this maximum, the monthly pay shall be computed as follows:

(A) If the employee is paid by the year divide his yearly pay at the time of the injury by twelve;
(B) If the employee is paid by the month, lake his monthly pay at the time of the injury;
(C) If the employee is paid by the week, multiply his weekly pay at the time of the injury by fifty-two and divide the results by twelve;
(D) If the employee is paid by the day, multiply his daily pay at the time of the injury by twenty-six;
(E) If the employee is paid by the hour, multiply his hourly pay at the time of the injury by the number of hours constituting a day's work and multiply the result by twenty-six;
(F) If the employee is paid by his output; find his hourly pay at the time of the injury by dividing the total amount earned by him in the employment in which and at the rate of pay at which he was employed at the time of the injury, during so much of the thirty days next preceding the injury, including the day of the injury, as he was so employed, by the number of hours so employed during such thirty days, then proceed as in (E);
(G) In making the computation provided in Clauses (E) and (F) of this section, overtime shall not be taken into account;
(H) Subsistence shall be included as part of the pay.


Section 14. Commutation of periodical payments.—If the monthly payments to the beneficiary are less than Five dollars per month, or if the beneficiary is not a citizen of the United States, or is or is about to become a non-resident of the United States, or if the Governor of the Panama Canal determines that it is for the best interests of the beneficiary, the liability of the United States or of the Panama Railroad Company for compensation to such beneficiary shall be discharged by the payment of a lump sum equal to two-thirds of all future payments of compensation. The probability of the beneficiary's death before the expiration of the period during which he is entitled to compensation, shall be determined according to the American Table of Mortality. The probability of the happening of any other contingency affecting the amount or duration of the compensation shall be disregarded.

Until such time as the President, under the authority of Section 4 of the Act of August 24, 1912 entitled "An Act to provide for the opening, maintenance, protection and operation of the Panama Canal and the sanitation and government of the Canal Zone," shall discontinue the Isthmian Canal Commission, compensation shall be paid in a lump sum in all cases, unless the Chairman of the Isthmian Canal Commission in any case determines that payment in instalments for any part or all of the period during which compensation is payable is for the best interests of the United States or of the Panama Railroad Company or of the beneficiary.


Section 15. Payment of the compensation shall be made to the beneficiary or to such representative as the Governor of the Panama Canal may determine.


Section 16. Determination of wage earning capacity.—In the determination of the employee's wage earning capacity after the beginning of partial disability the value of rent, board, lodging and other advantages which are received from his employer and which can be estimated in money, shall be taken into account.


Section 17. Notice of injury or death.—Immediately after the injury, the injured employee or some one on his behalf shall give to the immediate superior of such employee a written notice of the injury, and if the injury results in the death of the employee, one of the persons entitled to compensation or some person on his behalf, within 90 days thereafter, shall give to the immediate superior of such employee or to the Governor of the Panama Canal a written notice of such death. The notice shall state the name of the employee, his class of service, the year, month, day and hour when and the particular locality where the injury or death occurred, the cause of the injury or death, the nature of the injury, the nature and extent of the disability resulting therefrom, and the address of the employee and of the person giving the notice. The notice may be given personally or sent by mail. The Governor of the Panama Canal may, in his discretion, waive the giving of a notice.


Section 18. Report of injury or death.—Immediately after an injury to an employee resulting in his death or in his probable disability, the immediate superior of the employee shall at once make a report to the Governor of the Panama Canal, containing such information as the Governor of the Panama Canal may, by regulation, require.


Section 19. Claim for compensation.—No compensation under this order shall be allowed to any person unless he, or some on his behalf, shall make a written claim therefor upon the Governor of the Panama Canal within the time specified in Section 21. The claim may be served personally upon or sent by mail to the Governor of the Panama Canal or to such person as he may, by regulation, require.


Section 20. Contents of claim.—The claim shall be signed by the person making the claim and shall state the name of the employee, his age, sex, nationality and class of service, the year, month, day and hour when and the particular locality where the injury or death occurred, the cause of the injury or death, the nature of the injury, the nature and extent of the disability resulting therefrom; the monthly pay of the employee at the time of the injury, the relationship of the person entitled to compensation to the employee, the names and addresses of all persons entitled to compensation on account of such injury or death, the amount and duration of the compensation claimed, and the address of the person making the claim. The claim shall be sworn to by the person entitled to compensation or by the person acting on his behalf, and, except in case of death, or as otherwise provided in regulations prescribed by the Governor of the Panama Canal, shall be accompanied by a certificate of the employee's physician, if any, stating the nature of the injury, and the nature and extent of the disability. The claim shall, wherever possible, be made on forms furnished by the Governor of the Panama Canal, and in addition to the statements above required, shall contain such other information as the Governor of the Panama Canal may require.

The Governor of the Panama Canal may waive the making of and swearing to claims and the inclusion therein of any of the above requirements in such cases as he may deem proper.


Section 21. Time within which claim must be made.—Claims for compensation shall be made within sixty days after the injury, or, in case of death, within one year after the death. For any reasonable cause shown, the Governor of the Panama Canal may allow claim for injury to be filed within one year after the injury.


Section 22. Amendment of claim.—The Governor of the Panama Canal may, after receipt of the claim, demand a further claim specifying in the demand in what particular the claim is defective. Failure to make such demand shall constitute a waiver by the United States or by the Panama Railroad Company, as the case may be, of all defects which the claim may contain. After receipt of such demand, the person making the claim may, at any time within 60 days, make an amended claim which shall supersede the first claim and have the same effect as an original claim.


Section 23. Medical examination.—After the injury and during disability the employee shall as frequently and at such times and places as may be reasonably required submit himself to examination by a medical officer of the United States or by a duly qualified physician designated by the Governor of the Panama Canal and paid by the United States or by the Panama Railroad Company, as the case may be. The employee may have a duly qualified physician designated and paid by him present to participate in such examination. For all examinations after the first, the employee shall, in the discretion of the Governor of the Panama Canal, be paid his reasonable travelling and other expenses and loss of wages incurred in order to submit to such examination. If the employee refuses to submit himself for or in any way obstructs any examination, his right to claim compensation under this order shall be suspended until such refusal or obstruction ceases. No compensation shall be payable while such refusal or obstruction continues and such period shall be deducted from the period for which compensation would otherwise be payable.


Section 24. Disagreement between physicians.—In case of any disagreement between the physician making an examination on the part of the United States or the Panama Railroad Company and the employee's physician, the Governor of the Panama Canal shall appoint a third physician, duly qualified. The decision of the majority shall be final. A reasonable fee shall be allowed and paid by the United States or by the Panama Railroad Company, as the case may be, to such third physician if he is not a medical officer of the United States.


Section 25. Assignment of right against third person.—If an injury or death for which compensation is payable under this order is caused under circumstances creating a legal liability in some person other than the United States or the Panama Railroad Company to pay damages therefor, no compensation shall be payable to any beneficiary for such injury or death until he assigns to the United States or to the Panama Railroad Company, as the case may be, any right of action which he may have to enforce such liability of such other person, or any right which he may have to share in any money (or other property) received in satisfaction of such liability of such other person. The United States or the Panama Railroad Company, as the case may be, if it prosecutes such right to judgment or settlement shall after deducting the amount of any compensation already paid to the beneficiary and the costs of such prosecution, pay over to the beneficiary any surplus remaining. Such surplus so paid over shall be credited on future instalments of compensation as they become due. The Governor of the Panama Canal may waive the requirement of such assignment or may waive it for such period as he may deem proper.


Section 26. Assignment of right against Panama Railroad Company.—If an injury or death for which compensation is payable under this order is caused under circumstances creating a legal liability in the Panama Railroad Company to pay damages therefor under the laws of any State, Territory, or possession of the United States or of the District of Columbia or of any foreign country, no compensation shall be payable to any beneficiary for such injury or death until he releases to the Panama Railroad Company, any right of action which he may have to enforce such liability of the Panama Railroad or until he assigns to the United States or to the Panama Railroad Company, as the case may be, any right which he may have to share in any money (or other property) received in satisfaction of such liability of the Panama Railroad Company. The Governor of the Panama Canal may waive the requirement of such assignment or release for such period as he may deem proper.


Section 27. Assignments and attachments.—No claims for compensation under this order shall be assignable, and all compensation and claims therefor shall be exempt from all claims of creditors. This section is hereby constituted a part of the Laws of the Canal Zone.


Section 28. Attorneys'fees.—No claim for legal services in connection with any claim arising under this order shall be enforceable unless approved by the Governor of the Panama Canal. This section is hereby constituted a part of the Laws of the Canal Zone.


Section 29. Modification of allowance of compensation.—The Governor of the Panama Canal may at any tune review, and, in accordance with the facts found in such review, end, diminish, or increase any compensation previously fixed or determined.


Section 30. Recovery of compensation erroneously paid.—If any compensation is paid under mistake of law or of fact the Governor of the Panama Canal shall immediately cancel any order under which such compensation has been paid, and shall recover, as far as practicable, any amount which has been so paid.


Section 31. Powers of Governor of the Panama Canal.—The Governor of the Panama Canal shall make all necessary rules and regulations for the proper, effective, and economical enforcement of this order, and shall decide all questions arising under this order or in regard to the interpretation thereof. His determination of any fact necessary to or underlying any claim hereunder, shall be final and conclusive upon all parties and claimants or beneficiaries.


Section 32. Powers of Chairman of Isthmian Canal Commission.—Until such time as the President, under the authority of section 4 of the Act of August 24, 1912, entitled "An act to provide for the opening, maintenance, protection and operation of the Panama Canal, and the sanitation and government of the Canal Zone" shall discontinue the Isthmian Canal Commission, and until the Governor of the Panama Canal is appointed and has qualified, all the rights, powers and duties vested in the Governor of the Panama Canal by this order shall Ъе exercised by the Chairman of the Isthmian Canal Commission.


Section 33. Penalty for false swearing.—Whoever shall make in any affidavit required under section 6 or in any claim required by section 19, any statement, knowing it to be false, shall be deemed guilty of perjury and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or by both such fine and imprisonment. This section is hereby constituted a part of the Laws of the Canal Zone.


Section 34. Singular and masculine.—Wherever used in this order the singular includes the plural and the masculine gender includes the feminine and neuter.


Section 35. Liability of United States and of Panama Railroad Company.—If the payment of compensation under this order on account of an injury or death is to be made from the funds of the United States, the Panama Railroad Company shall be released and discharged from all liability on account of such injury or death, and if it is to be made from the funds of the Panama Railroad Company the United States shall be released and discharged from all liability on account of such injury or death. This section is hereby constituted a part of the Laws of the Canal Zone.


Section 36. Repeal of Laws of Canal Zone.—All laws of the Canal Zone inconsistent with any of the provisions of this order are hereby repealed. This section is hereby constituted a part of the Laws of the Canal Zone.


Section 37. Time of taking effect.—This order shall take effect March 1, 1913.[1]

Signature of William Howard Taft
Wm. H. Taft.

The White House,

February 26th, 1913.


Notes[edit]

  1. The operation of this order was suspended by Executive Order 1755 on March 24, 1913.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).