Along with all the billions of dollars that back injury claims cost industries in New York City and Long Island, they also cause employees pain and suffering that might be part of the rest of their lives. Authorities say the prevention of these injuries is a major safety challenge in different industries. Reportedly, a significant percentage of harm to workers' backs result from lifting, as material handling positions require employees to lift, place, carry, hold and lower heavy items as part of their daily jobs.
Hundreds of thousands of employees in the glass and auto body repair industry face multiple hazards every day. If you work in this industry, your employer must ensure that you receive safety training to prepare you for the dangers you will face on the job, and the precautions that you can take to avoid harm. The hazards typical to this industry include toxic chemicals, dangerous equipment that could cause amputation injuries and more. You could potentially be exposed to any of the following:
Under New York workers' compensation law, injured workers are supposed to be able to choose their doctor if the doctor has the right Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) credentials and takes workers' comp insurance. This is not always as straightforward as it sounds, however.
If you are a professional driver who suffers an injury on the job, you may have two sources of compensation: workers' compensation benefits and a third-party injury claim. It is important to understand your rights so you can recover the maximum amount the law allows.
In our last post, we began looking at the problem of workplace injury and death as it impacts undocumented workers. As we noted, undocumented workers are particularly at risk for workplace injury because companies that benefit from their labor often assume they can hang over their heads the threat of deportation. The reality is that employers are bound by workplace safety rules regardless of the citizenship status of their workers.
Last time, we began speaking about the issue of worker classification—and misclassification—and the impact this can have on entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. As we noted, businesses are not required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to independent contractors, and a worker who is misclassified as an independent contractors needs to defend his or her rights when this happens.
One issue that can come up from time to time in workers’ compensation disputes is employee classification. Companies, especially larger ones, have all kinds of people working for them in different capacities and under different contracts. One basic distinction among workers is employees versus independent contractors.
Last time, we briefly mentioned a New York Supreme Court Case in which it was ruled that several employers were bound by compulsory arbitration agreements they had signed, which were in turn governed by the Federal Arbitration Act. As we noted, arbitration is sometimes used in the workers’ compensation process here in New York to resolve disputes.
Many people think they can get workers' compensation benefits on their own. This is rarely the case, however. Workers' compensation claims are often denied or undervalued. Individuals typically do not have the resources to fight their employer and its insurance carrier.
Contractually mandated arbitration is a commonplace in the business world, including the insurance industry. Insurance companies in many areas of the industry, including workers’ compensation insurance, are increasingly making use of compulsory arbitration agreements to help ensure a more efficient resolution of disputes than would be possible through the adversarial process.