If you are like most people, you probably do not give much thought to your company's workers' compensation benefits. You might never expect to get injured on the job, so the topic is not in the front of your mind. However, it's important for all employees to educate themselves on this topic.
Here are some important things to consider about workers' compensation.
Workers' Compensation Benefits Aren't Based on Fault
Some employees do not file for workers' compensation benefits if they believe the work accident is their own fault. However, workers are still eligible to receive benefits even if they were at fault. For example, if a grocery store employee forgets to clean up a liquid spill and then slips on it, he or she can still file for benefits.
Workers' Compensation Benefits Will Be Denied Over Drug or Alcohol Use
After an employee suffers an injury at work, the employer will typically ask that employee to take a drug and alcohol test. If drugs or alcohol is found in the employee's system, he or she will not be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits anymore.
Work Injuries Must Be Reported Soon
One of the biggest mistakes employees make when they are injured is not reporting the injury soon enough to their employer. In most states, you have to inform your employer about your injury within 30 days.
You May Have to See the Doctor Your Employer Selects
Depending on what state you live in, you may be required to see a doctor of your employer's choosing. However, if you do not agree with the type of treatment that doctor is recommending; you can request to get a second opinion from another physician.
It Is Illegal to Retaliate Against Employees for Filing for Workers' Compensation
A common reason why some workers hesitate to file for workers' compensation is because they think their boss will fire them. However, it is against the law for employers to terminate their workers just for filing for workers' compensation benefits. They also can't demote you or cut your pay.
If your employer is treating you unfairly after you filed for workers' compensation, you should obtain legal advice from a lawyer soon.
As you can see, there is a lot to learn about workers' compensation. If you have further questions about the subject or have been hurt on the job, set up a meeting with a workers' compensation lawyer right away.