Imagine you are hurt on the job. You tell your employer about the injury so you can file for workers’ compensation benefits. You are completely right. However, your employer tells you to lie and say the injury happened on your own time. What do you do?
This is not an uncommon problem. Recently, former tunnel workers of a large construction company said that they were told to say that their work injuries happened at home or while playing sports. Many workers went along, concerned that if they spoke out about health and safety concerns, they would be fired.
Why would employers want workers to lie about their injuries? It’s all about money. Companies are required to carry (and pay for) workers’ compensation insurance. If an employee files a workers’ compensation claim, it affects the company’s insurance premiums for the next year.
But there is a downside to the employee in going along with this lie. First of all, he would likely be committing insurance fraud, which is a crime. He would also be shortchanging himself on the benefits he is entitled to. In a New Jersey work related injury an employee is entitled to have the entire cost of his medical care paid for. There are no deductions and co-pays, as exist when using private insurance. The injured worker may be entitled to pay for his lost time from work. If he can show a permanent loss of function, he would be entitled to a cash payment once treatment is over.
Clearly, not all employers play by the rules. If you have been hurt in a NJ work accident, always report it to your employer. If your employer tells you to lie about your injuries or use your own health insurance, they are violating your rights as an injured worker. You may want to seek legal help from a NJ work injury lawyer.
At Manfred F. Ricciardelli Jr., LLC, we’re on your side. With over 20 years of experience, Manfred Ricciardelli knows the ins and outs of these cases. He will fight to get you the benefits you and your family deserve. We offer a free, one-on-one consultation where you can discuss your case and legal options. To schedule yours, call 973-285-1100 or fill out our online contact form. You can also download our free e-book to learn more about NJ Workers’ Compensation law.