Do you know if your company offers workers compensation? This is part of workers rights, but not all employees are guaranteed workers compensation like wage replacement. In fact, there are different laws in each state in the United States. Some require that workers receive benefits like wage replacement if they suffer a personal injury at work, while other don?t require that the employer do anything to help. If your job is in a line of work that could result in you getting injured on the job, it?s important that you know your rights.
Interested in learning more about the different laws, rules, and regulations that apply to workers compensation? Keep reading to find out whether or not you?ll get the benefits you deserve if you?re injured on the job.
3 Important Facts about Workers Compensation in the United States
Believe it or not, just because you have a job doesn?t mean you are guaranteed rights like workers compensation. Before you get injured while at work, make sure you know and understand your rights and what benefits you deserve. That way, you?re prepared and not shocked if your employer doesn?t have to provide wage replacement. Here are three things all employees should know about workers compensation rights.
1. Not all states have workers compensation laws
This may come as a surprise, but each state doesn?t necessarily require employers to offer workers compensation to their employees. In fact, when it comes to small businesses in 14 different states, they are actually exempt. That means they don?t have to provide any type of workers compensation coverage for their employees. Some states go as far as to decide which industries need to or don?t have to offer coverage. For the agricultural industry, 17 states choose to not require that employers offer coverage. Luckily, while not all states require that employers offer coverage, employers are still able to choose to offer it if they want.
2. Most common injuries at work
It?s important to know what the most common injuries are at work so you can decide if your job may be a danger to your health. Falls, slips, and trips are the most deadly accidents that occur on the job according to statistics from 2015. So, if you work in a factory or warehouse where things get wet or you?re up and moving around frequently and quickly, you should check to see what your workers compensation coverage looks like. Also, when it comes to fatal work injuries, 25% of them occur on the road while driving. For those who spend a lot of their time driving for their job, keep this in mind. All-in-all, nearly 5,000 people died in 2015 from accidents and injuries that occurred while they were at work, according to the U.s. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
3. How many work days employees lose to injuries
When you?re injured on the job, it?s likely that you won?t be able to work for some time. This is where wage replacement comes in as an important benefit. If you?re not able to work, you can?t simply use all your sick days or paid days off. Your leave could be longer than the amount of sick days you have saved up. In 2015, if a worker was injured on the job, they typically spent around eight days on leave. In total, there were 1,153,490 days of work that employees missed because they were injured at work, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
With all those missed days, it makes sense why some employers don?t want to offer workers compensation benefits like wage replacement because of how much it can cost the company. However, as an employee, it should be your right to receive compensation for an injury you received while trying to do your job. If you work in an industry where you could get injured easily, check to see if you have wage replacement as a benefit according to your employer?s workers compensation package.
Have you ever been injured in an accident from a slip, fall, trip, or while driving? Did your employer offer workers compensation benefits like wage replacement? Let us know about your experiences dealing with this process in the comments.