If you’re an Employer or a business owner, you have a responsibility to provide your workers with a safe environment and protect employee rights. This duty is enshrined in federal law as stipulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. In addition, almost every U.S. state requires business owners to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover the costs of workplace injuries. Fail to do so may result in a hefty fine or even jail time.
All employees have the right to a safe workplace. To ensure employers provide this, the Department of Labor, through OSHA, created thorough safety requirements for businesses. For example, employers must:
Although the legal logistics vary by state, most companies operating within the U.S. have to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. You also have to inform your employees of their workers’ comp. And benefits and provide them with all the information and paperwork necessary for them to file a claim should a work-related incident occur.
After filing a workers’ compensation claim, the injured employee may receive several benefits from the insurer, according to the terms of your policy. Compensation benefits can include:
If the affected employee in an incident is not satisfied with the compensation package the insurer offers them. They are well within their rights to reject it. Should an employee take this route, both you and the employee can exercise your right to legal representation.
At this point, the employee can opt to pursue either a lump-sum settlement or a structured workers’ comp settlement. While the settlement process varies from state to state, most follow this basic structure:
Throughout the settlement and hearing process, you, as the employer, should do whatever you can to keep things moving. This includes providing the employee any and all paperwork they may need. While negotiations may feel stressful, this is the exact reason you need workers’ compensation coverage in the first place. Having an insurance policy creates a framework for compensation and establishes a negotiation process should an employee reject the package offered.
Investing in creating a safe working environment for your workers will ideally reduce risks of injuries and make your employees feel safe and cared for. If you promote workplace safety and purchase a high-quality workers’ comp policy from a reputable provider, your employees will thank you through company loyalty. Employees who know their employers have their back will stick around for the long haul, even if a workplace injury occurs.
Plus, settling and following safety procedures will save you money in the long run. You stand to face fewer claims from your employee rights; if you have a short claim history, your future workers’ comp premiums will be lower.