Hard working people around the world are busy doing jobs to feed their families and make their dreams come true. However, there are only a handful of people who really pay attention to other things than spending their 8 hours in the office working. These are the people who like to keep information of their rights and privileges. They want to make sure they are not working like animals and that they can raise their voice when their rights are violated. This is how every worker in the world should act but many don’t know their basic rights at work.
Well-informed workers can always act appropriately in different situations at work. If you are working hard to make money for yourself and your family, you should know your rights and not sign documents without reading them like many people do. When you are working your employer has some responsibilities and liabilities towards you. Employers are required by law to make you aware of your rights and give you your rights when the time comes. One of the most important things to know when you are a worker is workers’ compensation. Here is some information to help you with this:
1. What Is Workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is the name given to a type of insurance that protects the workers. The protection to workers is given in the form of finances in an event where the worker is injured while performing their duties. The employer is responsible for providing safe environment to the workers but if something goes wrong and the worker gets hurt, he/she has to be paid for the expenses of covering that injury. These injuries can be temporary, permanent or at times the incident might even result in the death of the workers. In this particular case the dependents of the worker are given the compensation.
An important thing to keep in mind here is that when you have signed the documents to receive workers’ compensation, you have relinquished your right to go to court for work injury claims. If your employer has not had you sign such a document and given you such insurance, you could file a case under work injury claims.
2. Knowing Workers’ compensation Properly
There are federal laws that govern workers’ compensation for employees of the federal government. However, all the states have their own laws too to govern workers’ compensation. Since laws can vary from state to state, it is extremely important for you to know about the workers’ compensation laws and acts in your state. You can visit state’s offices to get information or find the information online too. Make sure you have updated information so you are fighting for something you deserve or not fighting for something you don’t deserve.
3. Incidents Covered by Workers’ compensation
It is also of utmost importance that you know what incidents are covered under workers’ compensation law. You don’t want to be fighting with your employer for an incident that is not covered. First, you will not be given any workers’ compensation if you are found under the influence of a drug or alcohol at the time of working. Make sure you stay clean of these substances or else you will lose your right. Secondly, you can’t take advantage of the law by inflicting some damage on yourself. Self-inflicted claims are also void and are not given any workers’ compensation. Furthermore, you are not given workers’ compensation if you were injured when it was not your duty time. The injuries have to be conceded when you are on duty.
4. What Benefits Will You Receive Under Workers’ compensation?
First of all, the amount of compensation you receive after an incident depends a lot on how much you were making at your job. At the same time, your compensation also depends on the number of dependents that are affected by your injury or disability to work. In normal circumstances, your compensation is less than the actual pay you get for your work. However, other expenses are covered in the compensation that arise from the incident. For example, all your medical expenses to cover the injury are paid through workers’ compensation.
You are given a replacement income too. If you require retraining for a particular job or the same job after the incident, this retraining is also included in the workers’ compensation. Permanent injuries are dealt with differently in this particular law. If you have any permanent injuries, you will receive compensation for them too. In addition to that, if a person is killed on the job then the compensation is provided to the survivors. The family is compensated based on the number of people dependent on the person who has died on the job.
5. Is Everyone Eligible for Workers’ compensation?
No, that is not the case. If you are working in a private home or as an independent contractor, you will not be given workers’ compensation. Similarly, business owners, maritime employees, volunteers, farmers, casual workers, railroad employees etc. are not covered by workers’ compensation. It also has to be kept in mind that if you are a federal employee then you are covered by federal workers’ compensation, and you will not be covered under the workers’ compensation laws of the state. In addition to that, there are a few states that will not enact workers’ compensation law on employers who are only operating with 5 employees or less.
6. Can You Never Sue Your Employer?
There are circumstances where you can still sue your employer if the workers’ compensation is already in place. In a situation where your employer did something on purpose to inflict harm on you, a work injury claim can be filed in the court. When you are faced with such a situation you will have to keep in mind that your workers’ compensation rights will be waived off since you have made a claim. Make sure to go for an experienced lawyer if you want to follow this path because winning such a case can award you with lots of benefits including loss of wages, punitive damages to employer, compensation for mental anguish etc.
Featured photo credit: compensation is low via lifehack.org