Workers’ Compensation and Employer Defense Tactics
When a worker in the United States undergoes an injury, they are protected by a particular set of rules that helps them maintain their rights. These rules are known as Workers’ Compensation laws. In most states, employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover both themselves and their employees. In other states, some companies are allowed to self-insure themselves or act as their own private insurance company.
When a worker is hurt on the job, they are covered by the insurance that their employer carries. This insurance covers their medical bills and lost wages. All employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If an employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, they could be subject to fines or criminal charges.
The Workers’ Compensation is very complex and diverse. The committee itself gives out millions of dollars each year for sub-committees for conflicting interests and individuals.
For example, the first entities in the United States are:
- Hearing Officers
- Insurance company claims examiners
- Third-party administrators and the Self-Insured
- Injured Employees
- Various medical providers
- Bill collectors for the physicians
- Reporters in the Courts
- Photocopy employers
- Private investigators
- Bill reviewers
- Requesters of Medical Treatments
- Expert witnesses
The people that work with these types of cases are usually specialized, and states have worked hard to make sure that only trained physicians are working on these cases.
There are many instances that you can sue your employer rather than receive workers compensation. This is why employers may be in trouble if they do not carry workers’ compensation insurance. Failure to carry the proper insurance can result in:
- Criminal prosecution
- Personal liability of the employer for the injury that their employee sustained
- An employee’s option to sue the company rather than filing for workers’ compensation.
In addition to having workers compensation insurance readily available for your staff, employers should also comply with these rules:
- Post a notice of compliance with workers’ compensation laws in an easily accessible area on the job site;
- Have immediate medical treatment available for an employee that has received an injury on the job;
- Facilitate the process for further care if an employee is unable to find a proper physician for treatment;
- Complete a proper report of the injury and send it to the closest workers’ compensation office. A copy of the report should also be mailed immediately to the company’s insurance company. An employer that does not make an injury report after the injury could be charged with a misdemeanor or fine;
- Make a written report of every single personal injury accident that takes away from work time or needs more treatment than readily available first aid treatment.
- Comply with all requests from the insurance company or workers’ compensation board, for any documents such reports of the date of the employee’s return to work or a statement of the employee’s earnings before and after the accident.
Employer’s Duty Not to Retaliate
Although workers’ compensation provides employees with benefits for medical treatments and many other things, they also have to prevent their employer from retaliating on them for the injury occurring. Some employers will frown upon their employers for filing workers’ compensation. And quite a few employers attempt to mount a workers’ compensation employer defense against claims.
To protect employees from employers that will discriminate or wrongfully terminate them, states prohibit this action and allow employees to sue companies for the tort of “retaliatory discharge.”
If an employee believes that they are wrongfully discharged or discriminated after filing for workers’ compensation, they may be eligible to file for a retaliatory discharge case. In a retaliatory discharge case, the plaintiff must prove that their employee wrongfully fired them after they filed for workers’ compensation. However, the employer does not have to admit that the workers’ compensation case was the sole reason for the termination.
Apart from discrimination, employers can also use retaliation by demoting an employee or reducing their salary. Injured employees are protected from retaliatory behavior immediately after the injury occurred, and the workers’ compensation claim was filed.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Employer Defense Attorney
At Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo, we work hard to help employees that are discriminated after hurting themselves on the job. Our dedicated team of Workers’ Compensation lawyers will work hard to help you receive the rights that you deserve. Contact us at (866)-948-9088 for a free case evaluation or for more information.