Mankato Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Workplace injuries are among the most controversial issues between employers and employees. In a perfect world, every injury would be reported and workers’ compensation would pay out for any injury that requires more than a bandaid or aspirin. But this isn’t a perfect world and workplace injuries go unreported all the time. Employees avoid reporting their injuries for a number of reasons, ranging from embarrassment about the mistake, to thinking the injury is too minor to report. Technically, you are not legally required to report an injury, though it’s best if you do.
But real problems begin when employers start influencing their staff not to report their injuries. They may ask you not to or outright tell you not to file a report. Some employers go so far as to prevent their staff from filing an injury report by keeping the paperwork from them and refusing to record the incident. Not only is this illegal, it’s a blatant abuse of the workforce.
Today we’re here to talk about why employers sometimes don’t want their staff to report injuries. The reasons might not be what you expect.
1) Their Workplace Injury Statistics Go Up
Whenever an employee reports a serious injury, this report is added to the business, local and national workplace injury statistics. These statistics help to identify which industries are doing well and where safety improvements can be made. However, a business’s safety record is also an important part of their reputation.
Every reported injury in a workplace could detract from their safety stats. This means that your injury report could “damage the company” by showing them in a bad light. Companies with too many injuries on record or that are very conscious of their injury stats may discourage employees from reporting their injuries to artificially inflate their safety stats.
2) Workers’ Comp Claims Cost Them Money
Not everyone knows this, but worker’s compensation is actually a type of business insurance that the employers are required to have. Your claim is directed to the workers’ comp insurance company and the insurance company pays out. While this means that your employer isn’t on the hook for the full amount of any workers’ comp claim, they are still financially impacted.
Like any insurance claim situation, a new approved claim can raise the premiums your company pays. In other words, your injury will cost the company money. Not as much as your claim total, but they will be paying higher workers’ comp insurance premiums for a while after your claim. A penny-pinching company might ask you to forgo reporting your injury for this reason alone.
And remember, if they delay you too long, they can prevent you from filing a claim at all, because the law requires you to file a claim within a certain time period.
3) Your Injury Could Bring Attention to OSHA Violations
And then there’s OSHA to contend with. Workplace injuries can happen in perfectly safe environments but more often than not, an injury is caused by a slightly less than ideal setup. A cable strung across the floor, a slippery stretch of tile, or a ladder that wobbles without a second person to hold it.
If your workplace has been slacking on safety precautions, there’s a good chance that an OSHA inspection will result in violations and fines. Your injury might be the result of a long-standing violation that has been ‘swept under the rug’ so far. By reporting the injury, you might incidentally bring attention to your employer’s malfeasance in workplace safety which they may want to keep covered up.
4) Your Employer May Not Have Work Comp Insurance
Finally, many small businesses and a few bigger ones just don’t have workers’ compensation insurance. This, of course, is often illegal according to Minnesota law. With very few exceptions, every employer must have a worker’s compensation insurance policy, and is responsible for acquiring it. If an employer does not have worker’s comp insurance, you trying to file a claim will inevitably reveal this fact, which will get the employer in trouble.
This is a very serious reason why an employer might discourage you from filing an initial injury report. After all, if they have a 100% workplace safety rating, they don’t need to pay for worker’s compensation. Right? Not so.
Contact Farrish Johnson Law Office Today
Is your employer pressuring you not to report a workplace injury? If so, this is illegal pressure and they may be trying to force you to pay for recovery out of your own pocket to avoid a few small increases to their insurance premium. But whatever the reason, you have a right to report your injury and begin the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim. For a consultation on what to do about your employer and how to protect your right to compensation, contact us today!
Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer