In most states, most employers are responsible for providing workers’ compensation to most employees. There are some exemptions, and your employer should know about those. For example, a company with only two or three employees in Alabama doesn’t require workers’ comp until it reaches five employees. Someone who employs seasonal workers may not need to provide workers’ comp for those workers, even though all other employees would be covered.
If you fall under a category in which you are entitled to workers’ compensation, your employer actually pays for the coverage. It doesn’t come out of your paycheck as your health insurance does, and you aren’t required to put anything toward it. When you’re hurt, you file a claim with the workers’ comp insurance company. If the claim is approved, you’ll begin to receive benefits.
Penalties an Employer Might Face
An employer who chooses not to purchase workers’ compensation coverage for his or her employees could face some penalties. This could include fines, criminal prosecution, personal liability to pay employees for what they are owed after an injury and the chance an employee might sue the employer after being injured at work.
An Employer’s Duties
Providing workers’ compensation to employees isn’t the last step. Employers are also required to perform some additional duties. This could include:
- Posting a workers’ comp compliance notice in an obvious spot at every job site.
- Providing immediate medical care at the time of an employee’s injury.
- Making a report of each accident that could result in workers’ compensation.
- Complying with requests made by the workers’ comp board, the insurance company, the employee or the medical doctors.
Your employer also has a duty to not retaliate after your injury. If the employer needs to fill your position at work while you’re recovering at home or in the hospital, you are still entitled to getting that position back when you are physically able. Your boss cannot discriminate against you for filing a claim. If you feel you have been discriminated against, or that your boss is retaliating by firing you after you were injured and received compensation, it’s important you get a lawyer involved.
What Your Lawyer Can Do
After a workplace injury, you might wonder what steps should be taken next. Your lawyer may be able to help you collect proper evidence, file a claim and work with the insurance company to ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. Contact a workers’ compensation attorney, like from Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C., today to get that help.