Employers have a responsibility to provide a hazard-free work environment. Yet, despite following safety recommendations, injuries can still take place.
If you get hurt while doing your job, your employer may be responsible for the associated costs incurred. Although emotional turmoil about your future earning capabilities may accompany physical pain, it’s important to understand that state and federal labor laws can protect your interests.
Understanding injured workers’ rights
First and foremost, you must report the accident that caused your injury. It’s best to notify your employer right away. However, the law allows 30 days to provide written notification of your injury.
Reporting an on-the-job injury is your first right among many. Your additional opportunities include:
- Seeking medical attention. Your physician can provide immediate care and devise an appropriate treatment plan. Meanwhile, health records can support your application for benefits.
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim. Contingent on the New York Workers’ Compensation Board’s decision about your case, you could be eligible to receive medical care and reimbursement for lost wages.
- Continuing employment. It is unlawful to terminate employment due to an employee filing a workers’ compensation claim. Although it’s not necessarily mandatory for your employer to hold your position during recovery, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may allow you up to 12 weeks off work to address a serious health condition.
Collecting unemployment benefits is a possibility if your job is no longer available when you’re ready to return to work. As you apply for positions, remember that no employer can deny you the opportunity to earn a living because your injury resulted in a disabling condition.
There’s no time to waste when your earning potential comes into question. Since it can take time to receive claim approval, exploring your options sooner than later may be the best way to protect your legal rights.