How does a worker’s comp claim affect the employer?
This is a topic not often covered in most online discussions. Most workers comp articles focus on the injured employee getting the benefits they deserve.
But as an employee, you need to understand why some employers will fight tooth and nail to deny a workers’ comp claim. In fact, some would even go as far as threatening their employees if they ever file for one.
You see, getting injured at work and fighting for your benefits is not only stressful for you. Dealing with a workers’ comp claim is tough for your employer too.
Here are ten ways a workers comp claim can affect your employer:
1. Higher Premiums
Workers’ comp premiums are computed based on the company’s risk of having injured employees. This risk is, in turn, assessed using historical data. So if an employer has a record of having workers comp claims, the premium will definitely go up.
In most states, employers are required to take out workers’ comp insurance for their employees. But if an employer fails to do this by the time a worker gets injured, they can face steep penalties.
Aside from penalties for failing to provide workers comp insurance, the employer may also have to face fines from OSHA. In some states, a worker can only claim workers comp if their injury is because of the employer’s negligence. This is usually enough evidence for OSHA to conclude that the employer has violated a safety code. OSHA penalties can range from $13,494 to as much as $134,937 per violation.
3. Work Interruptions
When an employee is injured, they’ll naturally need some time to recover. Depending on their injury, that recovery period can take months or even years. This can significantly interrupt business operations. Especially if no other worker has the same skillset as the one who got injured. This can lead to unfulfilled orders and missed deadlines at best and lawsuits at worse.
4. Higher Overtime Costs
Since the business is now one worker less, the remaining employees usually have to do overtime to keep up with deadlines. This, obviously, leads to higher overtime costs.
5. Additional Wages Cost
In certain instances, an injured worker cannot claim lost wages benefit for the whole time they are on leave from work. Some days are not covered by workers comp. Lost wages during those days will have to be shouldered by the employer.
6. Retraining New Staff
Most of the time, employers have no choice but to hire temporary staff in lieu of their injured workers. Naturally, they’ll have to retrain them. But retraining new staff can be costly, not to mention very time-consuming. It also takes days for them to do the job right and for the operation to return back to normal.
Plus, when the injured worker finally goes back to work, they often have work restrictions. Sometimes, they can’t go back to the job that they’ve been doing from before the injury. Under the law, the employer will have to pay for the cost of training so they can do their new job effectively.
7. Increased Administrative Expenses
For complicated workers comp claims, the employer may need to hire a team of lawyers. Especially if the injured worker also has a competent workers compensation lawyer working on their case. This, of course, creates an unexpected expense for your employer and increases administrative costs.
8. Decrease in Productivity
With one worker less, there will obviously be a decrease in productivity. If your employer is on a tight schedule or has a deadline to meet, this can be a real struggle.
9. Cost for Repairs and Damages
Aside from injuring workers, a workplace accident can also likely result in damaged machinery. The cost of repairing these damages will, of course, fall on the employer. Besides, serious workplace accidents usually prompt an extensive OSHA investigation. If they found that the tools and equipment in the workplace are defective and pose a threat to employee safety, the employer will not only pay fines. They’ll also have to fix any defects on the equipment to make it at par with OSHA standards.
10. Loss of Goodwill
When word gets out that a worker got injured due to the employer’s negligence, it can damage the business’ reputation. Depending on the severity of the injury and the initial response of the employer, the public backlash can be severe. This loss of goodwill often results in grave consequences for the business.
VICTOR MALCA LAW – A TRUSTED NAME IN FLORIDA
Victor Malca P.A. has over 25 years of litigation experience in Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability lawsuits. His experience and continued success in fighting for his clients puts among the most trusted workers’ compensation lawyers in Florida. Our area of expertise is in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claim social security disability benefits.
Our unwavering advocacy for employee rights and privileges are recognized by our past clients across South Florida. Book a free consultation today.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a writer for Victor Malca Law P.A. and enjoys helping people with questions about social security, workers compensation, and other serious matters involving people’s livelihood. She is not an attorney and her writing should not be considered legal advice.