Most Ohio workers don’t think about workers’ compensation until they have an on-the-job accident and cannot work for an extended period because of their injuries. At that point, they will probably turn to their employer or the human resources department. In some workplaces in Ohio, however, workers are shocked to discover that their employer is not all that keen to help with their claim. How can you tell before you actually need help if your employer will assist with your claim or not? Here are a few warning signs.
Signs Your Employer May Not Be Workers’ Comp Friendly
By law in Ohio, almost every employer with one or more employees must carry workers’ comp insurance. They might get insurance through the state fund—known as the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC)—or they might be self-insured. Many big, national companies such as Amazon and Honda are self-insured.
While companies must carry insurance, they do not have to hold their employees’ hands through the process, and some can be downright hostile about it. Some indications that you might be at a company that is not sympathetic to injured workers include:
- You haven’t been given information about your rights. Your employer must post information about Ohio workers’ compensation in a visible area, but if you were not told about the workers’ comp process when you were hired, and there is no information about it in the employee handbook (if there is a handbook), your employer is not following best practices.
- You were not made aware of the risks of your job. Companies that focus on workplace safety are generally more helpful when a worker is injured. If you were not given specific safety training and were not informed of the injury risks inherent to your position, you could be more likely to get pushback after an accident.
- Safety protocols are not taken seriously in your workplace. Companies that ignore OSHA safety guidelines and put their workers at risk are unlikely to handle accidents properly. While workers’ comp is no-fault insurance, that doesn’t mean employers are not responsible for the safety of their workers.
- There is no clear procedure for handling an accident. Workplace accidents should be investigated promptly. Ideally, your employer will help you fill out an accident report and get medical treatment right away. When the worker has to seek out the help they need, that’s a good sign that a workers’ comp claim might be difficult.
- Claims are not handled efficiently. Even if you get appropriate help right after the accident, if your company does not have a designated person handling your accident report and helping with your claim, and the process is repeatedly delayed, it will likely get harder before it gets easier.
No one wants to live in fear of an accident putting them out of work, but educating yourself about your company’s workers’ comp process can help you protect your rights if you are injured at work. If you meet resistance when you are trying to gather information, it will only be more difficult when you are actually hurt.
Fortunately, you need never go through the workers’ comp process alone. Even if your employer is resistant, you might get help from your workers’ comp doctor, managed care organization (MCO), third-party administrator (TPA), or the BWC. Keep in mind, though, that the MCO and TPA work for, or at least align with, the employer. And the BWC is the insurance agency. In addition, you are entitled to hire a workers’ comp lawyer to represent you throughout the claim process.
Get Help From Monast Law Office
With over 30 years of experience as a workers' comp attorney in Ohio, I have helped hundreds of injured workers overcome uncooperative employers. If your employer is giving you a hard time, contact Monast Law Office to discover how we can help. Learn more by requesting a free copy of our book, The Worker's Guide to Injury Compensation in Ohio, then fill out our online contact form or call our Upper Arlington office at 614-334-4649 to get started.
How will your employer handle your workplace injury? We share some signs that they might not handle it well in this new FAQ. Discover how we can help if you are facing a resistant employer after an on-the-job accident.