Question: I was hurt at my job. My employer told me that he would pay me for the time that I missed from work and that he would also pay my medical bills. He said that since this was just a minor injury, we should avoid the hassle of telling the workers compensation insurance company. My boss even sent my family a food tray from a local supermarket along with a nice note. Well, that worked out for a few weeks but now he’s getting a little goofy. He wrote me up yesterday for being late returning from lunch (I was late because HE asked me to stop at the bank to pick up some deposit slips). Today he accused me of using an ink pen from the office for personal use (he gives theses pens out to people all the time and I carry one around all day in my pocket). I think that he’s getting ready to fire me. What should I do? B.G. (Location omitted, Pa.)
Answer: B.G, your situation, unfortunately, tends to happen from time to time- an employer sours on an employee who suffers a work injury. That’s why it is important to report all work injuries, even minor injuries, to your employer AND make sure that the injury is reported to the workers compensation carrier. That way, your injury is documented and the proper channels may be pursued with respect to payment of wage loss benefits, payment of medical expenses, etc. Failure to follow these procedures can prejudice an injured worker if his or her condition should worsen and require additional treatment and loss of earnings. Also, if a private healthcare carrier learns that it has paid medical expenses resulting from a work injury, your coverage may be jeopardized and you may find yourself involved in an investigation for insurance fraud. Ask your employer to IMMEDIATELY report your work injury to his workers compensation insurance company.
If you’ve suffered a work injury and have questions about your claim, contact me at email@example.com or call (570) 347-1011 for a free consultation.
Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.