As a worker in a labor-intensive field, whether that be construction, carpentry or another trade, you are at risk of sustaining injuries in the course of your job. According to the 2019 Massachusetts Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Report, the trade, transportation and utility sector had the second most injuries and illnesses in 2019 and the construction industry the sixth.
If you recently became ill or suffered an injury because of your work, you have the right to workers’ compensation benefits. There are misconceptions floating around about workers’ compensation that are important to dispel.
1. If you file a claim it hurts your employer
You may feel loyalty to your company and a reluctance to do anything that might cause them harm. To understand why you do not need to worry about this, you need to know two facts. The first is that a workers’ compensation claim is not the same as a lawsuit. You are not suing your employer. The second is that your boss is not the one paying out the benefits and is thus not losing money. The insurance company pays the claim.
2. If you file a claim you get in trouble
Harassment, demotion, termination and other disciplinary action against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim is retaliation and is illegal. The law forbids your employer from being aggressive or hostile towards you for seeking benefits.
3. If you file a claim and get denied you have no recourse
You may receive a denial the first time you file your claim. This is not an uncommon occurrence. However, you may appeal this decision.
Workers’ compensation is protection created by the government for both employees like you and employers. It is important to not allow fallacies to prevent you from pursuing needed benefits.