How Employers May Interfere with Your Workers' Compensation Claim
In Georgia, it is required that all employers subject to workers’ compensation laws must provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. This coverage offers employees protection should they be injured while working. Because workers’ compensation claims can be expensive for employers, dishonest employers may try to prevent employees from successfully filing workers’ compensation claims for their work-related injuries. Learn some of the ways that employers may interfere with their employees right to file injury claims.
Employers may not do anything to directly interfere with employee claims, but they may discourage employees from making claims. They may offer incentives for employees if the company maintains a certain amount of accident-free days or a strong safety record. Employees can be encouraged to not report injuries to maintain this record.
Employers may also ask that employees don’t report injuries as being work-related to their doctor. It is possible that employees may be instructed to use their personal health insurance coverage to seek treatment for injuries sustained at work.
Delaying Filing Claims
If a worker is injured on the job, they should report their injury to their employer. When an injury is reported to an employer, they should provide the injured employee with a WC-1 First Report of Injury (ROI) form. This form should be returned to the employer after it has been completed, and the employer should begin the process of filing the claim. Employers may delay the process by waiting to provide the appropriate form or by failing to immediately begin the claim process after being presented with a completed ROI form.
It is the responsibility of the employee to provide a consistent report of the accident to their employer, coworkers, the insurance company, and medical personnel. Employers can interfere with employee reports, however. Employers may edit ROI forms or edit the employee’s statement to insurance. They also may encourage employees to alter their reports in a way that protects the company. It is possible that employees can be offered benefits or rewards for their cooperation or may be threatened with retaliatory action, such as demotion, pay cuts, or termination if they do not cooperate.
Informing Employees They are Ineligible for Workers’ Compensation
Georgia requires that all companies that employ more than 3 workers must carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage or must self-insure. There are certain types of employment that exempts workers from workers compensation coverage, such as domestic employees, farm laborers, and independent contractors. Employees of a company are eligible for workers’ compensation, but companies may try to prevent claims by informing employees they are not eligible for workers’ compensation coverage.
Employers may also try to prove that employees are independent contractors and are not directly employed by the company to avoid paying claims. Misclassified employees can struggle to ensure that they receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
If you suspect that your employer is preventing you from making a rightful workers’ compensation claim, you should seek representation from skilled Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys. At The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC, we understand the frustration and difficulties you may be facing if you are denied the compensation you deserve for your work-related injuries. Contact our offices at (770) 629-9321 to request a free case evaluation.