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Workers' Compensation: Employer Responsibilities

Most states mandate employers purchase some form of insurance for their employees from a workers’ compensation insurance provider. When employees are hurt on the job, their claim is filed with the insurance company who covers the costs of medical and disability benefits.

Employers who fail to provide workers’ compensation coverage can be punished by:

  • Fines
  • Claim or Lawsuit by the employee
  • Criminal prosecution
  • Employer liability for workers’ compensation benefits due to injured workers

Employers are obligated to go further than simply purchasing insurance for their employees. They are required to post a notice of compliance with workers’ compensation laws somewhere it is clearly observable, offer emergency medical treatment for workers injured on the job, and provide further medical attention if an injured worker cannot select a doctor, among other obligations. Usually this is placed in the lunchroom or a common area where a time clock is placed.

Workers’ compensation is designed to protect both employees who are injured on the job, but also employers who are then protected from lawsuits being filed against them. Employers however are barred from discriminating against workers who have filed or are considering filing for workers’ compensation.

Many states protect workers from employers who discriminate against, harass, or wrongfully terminate injured workers and allow for employees to file civil charges against employers for doing so. Workers may have a claim for retaliatory discharge against their employer if they believe they were discriminated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

The basis for such a claim is proving whether the employer’s action was connected to the exercise of the employee’s rights under workers’ compensation laws.

Our firm can help you file your workers’ compensation claim so you can recover what you need and can defend you in cases of employer retaliation.