Workers Compensation – Understanding the Basics

It is law-mandated that employers provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. Employees who sustain injuries at work are covered by this insurance for their medical costs and lost pay. It also covers disability benefits.

In addition to providing medical benefits, workers’ compensation may cover the cost of a physician or therapy and pay temporary income benefits until a worker reaches clinical maximum medical improvement or statutory maximum medical improvement.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Employers are expected to ensure that employees are completely covered by compensation insurance for all medical costs and lost income in the event of a work-related injury. It’s a critical business insurance policy, especially for businesses in dangerous environments or otherwise exposing employees to risks. 

Permanent full-time employees are entitled to many perks, such as health, dental, and vision insurance; flexible spending accounts for medical expenses; optional life insurance policies; a tuition reimbursement program; and a retirement plan with a member contribution of 7% of gross salary and City matching of 14%. Additionally, the City of Big Spring employees are part of TMRS, a retirement system with over 820 Texas cities. An experienced workplace discrimination lawyer can assist with claims arising from harmful employer practices, such as sexual harassment or retaliation.

What are the Benefits of Workers’ Compensation?

Workers compensation Big Spring TX pays injured employees a percentage of their average weekly wages (AWW) for the time they miss work due to an injury or illness. It also covers medical fees, rehabilitation services, and death benefits for family members of an employee killed in a workplace accident. Disputes over the amount and duration of these benefits can become highly contentious, and a workers’ comp lawyer can help you navigate the legal system.

In addition to workers’ compensation insurance, full-time permanent employees are enrolled in the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS), which offers various flexible benefits. Those include health, dental, and disability coverage; optional life insurance plans; flexible spending accounts for medical expenses; an Employee Assistance Program; and a college tuition reimbursement program.

In addition, an unpaid wage attorney can help employers follow federal laws that govern minimum hourly wages, overtime pay, appropriate payroll deductions, required pay statements, and more. These labor law attorneys can also protect against workplace discrimination and harassment.

How Do I Get Workers’ Compensation?

The workers’ compensation system helps injured employees get medical care and replace lost wages. It also helps employers attract and keep good workers by providing a safety net in case of injuries. But despite its advantages, the workers’ comp system is not without controversy and disputes.

A common dispute involves employers who deny a worker’s injury or illness claim. It can happen when an employer believes that an employee’s condition is not work-related or was caused by another factor besides their job.

Other disputes involve labor law violations such as minimum wage, overtime pay, and retaliation in the workplace. In these situations, an employment lawyer can help. They can ensure that employers adhere to Federal Fair Labor Standards Act guidelines regarding minimum hourly wages, timekeeping records, appropriate payroll deductions, required pay statements, and payment of final wages. They can also provide legal support in cases of unpaid overtime.

How Do I Make a Claim for Workers’ Compensation?

While workers’ compensation laws are intended to protect employees who have been injured on the job, disputes may occur. These disputes can result in legal action, filed cases, and settlements.

Workers’ compensation damages are meant to remedy intangible harm, such as emotional distress, lost enjoyment of life, inconvenience, loss of professional community standing, injury to reputation, and economic losses. Economic losses include potential moving expenses, job search expenses, behavioral health costs, and medical bills.

Those who believe they have been victims of retaliation in the workplace should consult with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer as soon as possible. Retaliation often includes terrible performance reviews, micromanagement, pay cuts, or exclusion from active projects and can also include unjust termination. 

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