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Do you need your employer’s consent to file for workers’ comp?

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

When you’re hurt on the job, it’s only natural to hope that your employer will be supportive – but what if they aren’t?

The vast majority of Ohio employees are covered under workers’ compensation laws. When they suffer a work-related injury, the process of obtaining medical care for their condition and some replacement wages should be fairly straightforward. However, some employers can be uncooperative about workers’ comp claims, and some even actively try to discourage their injured employees from making claims.

Why do employers sometimes try to interfere with claims?

There are many different reasons an employer may be reluctant to have employees file workers’ comp claims, including:

  • They’ve misclassified their employees: Employers sometimes intentionally misclassify employees as independent contractors to reduce their workers’ compensation costs. They may be worried about being exposed.
  • They’re afraid of a rate increase: The more injured workers an employer has, the higher their workers’ comp insurance premiums. Employers may try to encourage an employee to use their health insurance coverage to handle some injuries so that they can avoid a rate hike.
  • They don’t even have coverage: It’s not unheard of for an employer to operate without workers’ comp insurance, even though they’re legally required to have it.

None of these things are your concern. Ultimately, you have every right to file a claim on your own, directly with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) which administers the benefits. You don’t need your employer’s permission – and your employer cannot legally stop you. Nor are they legally permitted to retaliate against you for exercising this right. Seeking qualified legal guidance can help to streamline this process and better ensure that you get what you deserve.