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How can being a union worker impact your workers’ comp claim?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Union employees belong to a professional organization with many others in similar careers. They engage in collective bargaining with employers to protect against business abuses. Unions are often very beneficial for workers who find themselves in challenging employment circumstances.

An unexpected injury on the job could be a major setback for the average employee. They might require expensive medical treatments. In some cases, they may need to take time away from work because their injuries need time to heal. Misinformation about workers’ compensation can leave people uncertain about their rights.

Union employees often have better benefits packages than non-union workers. They may have paid leave benefits and solid health insurance, but they won’t necessarily need to utilize those benefits if they file a successful workers’ compensation claim in the event that they suffer work-related harm.

Union workers may feel better protected

A surprising number of workers who could qualify for workers’ compensation benefits never apply. It is common for employees to fear employer retaliation if they report getting hurt on the job or initiate a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

While federal law specifically prohibits companies from punishing workers for engaging in protected workplace activities, like filing a workers’ compensation claim, some employees still fear the possibility of employer retaliation. Workers who belong to a union may feel more confident about reporting an incident or diagnosis and filing a benefits claim. They know that if their employers somehow violate their rights, then they can turn to the union for support.

In fact, workers who belong to unions may have an easier time navigating a workers’ compensation claim in part because the union can help educate them about their basic rights. Of course, belonging to a union does not automatically ensure a stress-free workers’ compensation claims process. Employees may still find themselves fighting an uphill battle for claim approval or disagreeing about what treatment or workplace accommodations they require.

Union workers, like many other hard-working employees, should be able to receive medical coverage and disability benefits when they develop medical issues because of their work. Learning more about the rights granted to union workers hurt on the job by seeking legal guidance can benefit those worried that medical issues might affect their careers.