Although health insurance is important to New York employees, some corporate giants - such as Wal-Mart, Target and Walgreens - are trimming their budgets by cutting out medical benefits for part-time workers. While this may seem like an effective cost-cutting measure, experts worry that the lack of benefits will lead to a higher rate of workers compensation claims.
Although some workplace accidents in New York are minor, there are many that are serious in nature. These accidents can cause employees to deal with significant medical expenses. On top of that, they may suffer from short-term or long-term disabilities that prevent them from returning to work right away. Fortunately, employees injured on the job do have the ability to file for workers' compensation benefits. Even though this process may seem straightforward, it's not uncommon for victims to experience issues along the way and ultimately get their claim denied.
New Yorkers may be aware that they can receive workers' compensation benefits for workplace accidents, but they may also be entitled to compensation for repetitive stress, illness or a chronic health conditions that are caused by their job. The pain or injury does not have to be the result of a one-time accident. Sometimes specific job duties, such as typing, bending or lifting, are performed repetitively, causing debilitating pain in discs, joints, muscles and nerves.
Although many accidents in the workplace are caused by slips, trips, falls and strains, an increasing number of injuries are caused by violence. Most of these - 75 out of 114 incidents since 2012 - took place in healthcare settings, particularly hospitals. The situation has gotten so out of control that New York hospital Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center was recently fined $78,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after patients and visitors assaulted dozens of employees.
Even when employees have been properly trained, a workplace accident can still occur. When a New York employee suffers injuries that prevent him or her from performing a job's duties, it is possible to receive workers' compensation benefits. However, many injured workers decide not to take advantage of these benefits - money that is rightfully theirs - because of the fear of retaliation. However, for the most part, an injured employee's job is protected while he or she is receiving benefits.
Although most New York-based businesses have sufficient workers compensation for their employees when they travel throughout the country, they face potential issues when workers travel abroad, even to Puerto Rico or Canada. If an employee were to become involved in a workplace accident in another country, the employer could be stuck with a huge liability issue - including hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses. That's why having the right amount of coverage is very important.
When a New York employee suffers a workplace injury, he or she has the right to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. When doing so, the employer cannot legally retaliate against the employee. The employee cannot be harassed, disciplined or fired for their involvement in a workplace accident, regardless of who is at fault. However, AT&T is currently under fire for allegedly disciplining four employees who were injured on the job and subsequently filed work-related accident claims.