Last time, we began looking at the responsibilities of employers under workers’ compensation law. In addition to the reporting requirements mentioned last time, employers are also required to maintain records of workplace injuries or illnesses and file required reports.
Employers are also required under workers’ compensation law to refrain from discriminating against employees who exercise their rights under workers’ compensation law. Employees who retaliate against an employee who files a workers’ compensation claim or who testifies in a workers’ compensation hearing can be held accountable for doing so. Employers are allowed, however, to terminate an employee who filed a workers’ compensation claim and/or received benefits as long as the termination is not retaliatory and is based on legitimate business reasons.
By the same token, employers have various rights under workers’ compensation law, and it is important for injured workers to be aware of these rights so as to better recognize when an employer takes missteps. An employer has the right, for example: to request that the workers’ compensation insurance carrier contest the compensability of a claim; to attend any hearings related to a worker’ compensation claim; to report suspected workers’ compensation fraud; to seek administrative review and/or appeal of a decision; and to electronically access case files for workers’ compensation claims.
When a dispute arises in the workers’ compensation process, knowing how to navigate the process is critical in terms of protecting one’s rights and seeing to it that one’s interests are adequately represented in the case. Working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is, therefore, an important step for those who have been injured on the job.