Understanding Your Rights as an Employee Using Workers’ Comp Benefits
Workers Compensation Lawyer
The laws for workers’ compensation benefits can vary, depending on what state the employee works. The overall idea of this type of employee medical coverage, is to help pay for expenses of injuries that arose due to a workplace accident. This injury may have been caused due to one incident, or developed over a period of time due to performing repetitive motions. In general, workers’ compensation benefits programs were designed so no fault befalls on either the employer or employee. It is crucial that an employee understands what it means to be using workers’ compensation benefits, and when it may time to seek legal protection.
Q: Are there any situations where I may be denied benefits?
A: Yes, if the injury happened because the employee was intoxicated, participated in illegal activity, or intentionally cause the accident, then workers’ compensation benefits are probably going to be denied. Employees who are trying to get out of work, may pretend to have sustained a serious injury due to a workplace hazard or lack of protective safety equipment. Sadly, situations like this may be what causes employers to be suspicious of any employee that reports a work-related injury.
Q: What if my employer tries to discourage me from filing for workers’ comp?
A: An employer who is worried about profits of the company, may attempt to discourage an injured worker from reporting the accident or filing for workers’ compensation benefits. An employee should never feel as though they are being influenced into hiding the injury in order to protect the company. Those who have experienced threats, harassment, or intimidating remarks from their employer about a workplace accident, must seek intervention from a legal professional before the situation intensifies.
Q: My employer said I have to see a work-assigned doctor, is that right?
A: Depending on state law, an injured employee may have to see a physician chosen by their employer. But, it may be possible to get another opinion from the employee’s personal doctor after. Follow up with your supervisor about whether you can pick who is your treating doctor. If you get mixed messages from your employer or feel they are forcing you to see a work-assigned doctor when you have expressed preferring otherwise, check with your lawyer about your rights.
Q: What if when I returned to work after recovery, my boss demoted me?
A: Demoting an employee for using workers’ compensation benefits is unlawful, and action can be taken against the company for doing so. Demotion can be a form of employer retaliation. This is why a workers compensation lawyer Wytheville, VA offers can be helpful as your workers’ compensation claim is being handled, so you can be protected from employer retaliation either while on disability or after returning back to work. Other examples of ways an employer may treat an employee wrongfully for using or applying for these benefits can include:
- Transferring to another department (and not as a promotion)
- Changing work days and hours
- Decreasing pay
- Creating a hostile work environment
- Unjust disciplinary actions
- Being fired from the company
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into workers compensation and understanding your rights.
Posted on February 14, 2019 @ 1:23 pm