Workers’ compensation exists to support employees injured on the job and protect employers.
However, sometimes employers use bad faith tactics to avoid paying a valid claim, especially if the injury leads to long periods of missed work.
Delaying a report of the injury
When an accident occurs on the job, the employee reports it to the immediate supervisor or manager. The employer should then file the claim with their insurer. Sometimes employers will delay filing a report or intentionally not file it at all. Delays allow the insurance company a chance to deny the claim.
Offering a position falsely identified as “light duty”
A common tactic is falsely claiming that they will not require the employee to perform any strenuous work and then slowly adjusting tasks to include things beyond the employee’s capabilities. They can then take the opportunity to fire the employee with cause.
Misrepresenting the injury in the report
After the employer files an insurance claim, the insurer should provide a First Report of Injury form. Employees should pay close attention to the details in this report because employers may misrepresent the accident and the severity of injuries. Sometimes they incorrectly report wages, especially for employees that often work overtime.
Threatening to terminate an employee for making a valid workers’ compensation claim is illegal under any circumstances. Even implying punishment is a violation of the employee’s rights.
Not all tactics are obvious. All employees should know their rights and familiarize themselves with some of the sneaky ways that employers avoid workers’ compensation.