Do I have a right to workers' compensation benefits if I’m injured on the job?
Yes, virtually all employers are required to provide workers' compensation insurance which pays your medical expenses, short term disability wage replacement, and permanent disability payments, as appropriate, if you are injured on the job.
The workers' compensation system was developed to get injured workers healthy and back on the job, without having to go through lengthy, expensive and antagonizing litigation. If you intend to file for workers compensation, it is important to learn the rules and deadlines for doing so, immediately. Many timeframes for workers compensation can pop up quickly and, if missed, could hurt your chances of a monetary recovery. Your employer should maintain information about these rules and deadlines in your workplace.
What kind of rights do employees have in the workplace?
All workers have the right to be safe while working and to workers' compensation benefits if injured on the job. In addition, workers have a right to fair wages, limited maximum hours, medical benefits and to family and medical leave as well as the right to be free from discrimination. Additionally, all workers are entitled to that which their employer promises them. Commitments made in an employee handbook are viewed as part of the “employment contract” between employers and employees. Workers may be entitled to pursue membership in a labor union, depending on a variety of factors. An attorney in this area should be consulted to evaluate a given situation.
Do child labor laws still exist?
Although American children are no longer working in factories or coal mines, child labor laws still necessarily exist. Child labor laws protect children age 17 and younger. They restrict both the number of hours a child can work as well as the actual hours of the day a child, under the age of 16, can work. Due to safety concerns, certain hazardous work is not permitted for children.
How do I know if I should consult with an employment law attorney?
If you have any questions or concerns about anything within the scope of the employer and employee relationship, it is likely in your best interest to consult with an employment law attorney.
Examples of questions you may have are how to hire employees, how to fire a difficult employee, what benefits must be offered, and how to prevent work place sexual harassment and how to comply with a host of other state and federal laws that govern the workplace (i.e., Occupational Safety and Health, Fair Labor Standards, etc.) Remember that employment law attorneys are also called “labor law lawyers.”