Injuries can happen anywhere, but the workplace is a particularly common setting. In fact, there are over 4.5 million workplace injuries per year nationwide that result in a loss of over 104 million production days annually.
Seasonal employees make up a significant amount of the workforce in the United States, which is particularly true in the tourism-driven state of Florida. Even if your period of employment is temporary, injuries occurring in the workplace can substantially impact your earning potential and health. Understanding workers’ compensation and seasonal employment laws can help you protect your rights.
Although most injuries in the workplace are covered by employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, there are times when a Florida workers’ compensation claim is denied. Some of the most common reasons workers’ compensation claims are denied include:
Minor injuries occur in the workplace every day. From bumps and bruises to more serious lacerations and puncture wounds, injuries can occur anywhere and at any time. While a majority of employees recognize the importance of reporting major injuries to their employer, what about minor injuries? Do they still need to be reported?
The National Council on Compensation Insurance recently published a report that highlights the impact the national opioid crisis has had on the United States’ workers’ compensation system. Researchers found that injured workers who were prescribed at least one prescription in 2016 received three times as many opioid prescriptions. Yet, doctors believe that while the opioid crisis has been costly, the workers’ compensation system is still better equipped at handling the opioid epidemic than the general public. This is largely due to better adherence to treatment plans, coupled with the regular drug testing of injured workers.
In March 2018, a new Florida workers’ comp bill (S.B. 376) was signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott after passing unanimously through the state Senate and House of Representatives. The bill is intended to help first responders who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) collect medical benefits and paid leave under workers’ compensation. Prior to this bill going into effect, first responders diagnosed with PTSD were only eligible for medical benefits.
Under Florida workers’ compensation laws, all workers are entitled to lost wages and medical benefits after an on-the-job injury. Unfortunately, if you have been injured at work, having a pre-existing illness or injury can significantly complicate your ability to collect workers’ compensation benefits. This is especially true if your pre-existing injury happens to be medically related to your current on-the-job illness or injury.
If you’ve been injured in the workplace, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. However, there are situations in which employees may not be entitled to compensation. To determine if you are eligible, contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney for representation and assistance.
It used to be standard practice to require a drug test after a workplace injury, a “blanket” procedure that was expected, regardless of how the injury took place. However, this changed in 2016 when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released anti-retaliation provisions to their injury and illness tracking rules. Their new provisions were intended to make employees feel safe when reporting a work-related injury or illness, since many workers neglected to do so for fear of losing their job and their chance at workers’ compensation due to a positive drug screening.
Right now, there are more than four million people who are considered temporary employees, working in the United States. This is a number that is estimated to grow in recent years, with two to five companies making the decision to hire temporary workers in the coming year. With such a large number of temporary workers, it is crucial for you to understand how workers’ compensation benefits apply to these individuals. This will help ensure that both workers and employers are protected.
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