Your employer may give you a laundry list of things that you are supposed to do if you suffer an on-the-job injury. You have to meet reporting requirements, see the right doctors and fill out the right paperwork. You agree to do these things because you need the benefits.
What about your employer? What responsibilities does the company have to you? First, your company must carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are some limited exceptions to this rule.
Your employer’s obligations to you
If it must carry workers’ compensation insurance under Ohio law, your employer must do the following:
- Your jobsite should have a conspicuously placed poster giving notice of compliance with workers’ compensation laws.
- Your employer must send written injury reports to the appropriate workers’ compensation board.
- Your employer must report any injuries that require more than simple first aid, require more than two doctor visits and result in more than a shift or a day worth of lost work time.
- Your employer must immediately provide emergency medical treatment for your on-the-job injuries.
- Your employer must provide you with the ability to seek any follow up medical treatment you may need.
- Your employer must provide the workers’ compensation board with whatever information it needs regarding the accident, injuries and claim.
If your employer fails to fulfill these obligations, it could face civil and criminal penalties such as personal liability for unreceived benefits, court-ordered fines or criminal prosecution. In addition, you may directly sue your employer rather than seek workers’ compensation benefits.
Your employer cannot retaliate against you
Another obligation that your employer has to you is not to retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. It may seem as though this rule shouldn’t have to exist since your employer carries the insurance to cover work-related injuries, but it may surprise you how many employers actually violate this obligation.
People suffer discrimination, harassment and even termination by employers who frown upon the filing of workers’ compensation claims. Some employers will reduce a worker’s salary or demote a worker. If you feel as though your employer is retaliating against you, you may have a separate claim.
If you believe your employer is not fulfilling its legal obligations to you after you suffered an on-the-job injury, you may want to discuss the matter with an attorney. The workers’ compensation system can be enough of a challenge without your employer interfering in your receiving the benefits you deserve.