There are many benefits to being part of a union as a Connecticut worker. A union can help you negotiate for better compensation and benefits. It can help you and your co-workers demand safe and appropriate work conditions when an employer wants to put profits ahead of safety.

The union can also help if you wind up hurt on the job. The union will assist by educating you about your rights and can also help you stand up for those rights if your employer tries to violate them. What are your rights as an injured worker in Connecticut?

You have a right to medical treatment

Whether you have a traumatic injury from a workplace accident, an acquired condition like repetitive motion injuries or a work-related illness, you have the right to claim medical benefits through Connecticut’s workers’ compensation program.

Those benefits are important because they involve no form of cost-sharing, unlike most standard health insurance programs. That means you won’t have to cover any copay, coinsurance or deductible when receiving medical treatment through a workers’ compensation claim. Union workers who get hurt on the job are 60% more likely to file a claim, largely because they have the information they need and support from their union.

You have a right to receive disability compensation when you can’t work

Even if your injury is something you will recover from, it might prevent you from doing your job for several weeks. If your condition is severe enough to completely exclude returning to work, you have the right to receive a portion of your average wages for the duration of the injury or condition.

You have a right to request reasonable accommodations to return to work

Sometimes, you don’t need to stay at home as you recover, provided that your employer can change your responsibilities, accommodate special needs like the need to take frequent breaks or provide you with assistive technology that will allow you to continue performing the same tasks as before.

How a union can help you after a work-related medical condition arises

Although the law forbids employers from punishing or retaliating against workers who claim necessary benefits or request accommodations, many companies still do so.

Not only will the union help you learn about your rights, but it will also take action if your employer wrongfully tries to penalize or terminate you because of your injury or requested accommodations. Your union can be a powerful support during a very difficult time in your life.