Union involvement is a hotly debated topic around the country, especially now that people are returning to work facing longer hours and staffing shortages. While the push for unionizing is anticipated to bring many benefits, it's often overlooked how it can affect other areas like workers' compensation following an injury.
Georgia law requires companies to provide workers' compensation coverage. While union membership does not change this right, some additional benefits may be available for members. Here's what you need to know.
How Benefits May Vary For Union Members
In general, unions negotiate with companies to provide additional benefits to what is required by state law. This means that union members may have different or more extensive coverage than non-union workers. For example, a union contract may guarantee:
- Continued pay during the recovery period.
- A larger percentage of wages while on disability.
- Access to better medical care and health insurance.
These benefits often come to fruition through collective bargaining agreements (CBA) or contracts between the employer and union that outline what an employee is entitled to through the duration of their employment. A CBA should be clear about what a worker can expect to receive in workers' compensation benefits.
Furthermore, it's common for a union to provide its own representation throughout the workers' compensation claims process. This means that members will have an advocate on their side who knows the ins and outs of the system and the company's policies. The representative can help ensure you receive the benefits you're entitled to.
However, workers are still able to obtain independent representation if they choose. This may be more beneficial to your claim in many cases, as an experienced workers' compensation attorney can also help ensure you aren't facing retaliation from your employer for the injury or for advocating for your union benefits.
Our Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help
No matter if you're union or non-union, our workers' compensation attorneys can help ensure your rights are protected. Schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today by calling (770) 629-9321 or filling out this short form.