Many industries, such as construction, truck driving and agricultural work, are known for their high accident rates. Workers in these high-risk positions are regularly hurt on the job. However, any Massachusetts employee can receive a job-related injury or illness regardless of the job he or she does. For example, repetitive stress injuries are common for office employees. Food servers or retail workers may be injured in a slip-and-fall accident. Employees can become ill by long-term exposure to asbestos or harmful chemicals that are prevalent in the workplace.
Employees in Massachusetts are protected by laws that allow them to receive compensation for a workplace injury or illness. According to the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents, every employer in the state must provide workers’ compensation insurance to employees. This is to ensure that a worker receives necessary medical care after being injured at work. Workers’ compensation may also pay for lost wages after an employee is fully or partially disabled from a work injury. Additionally, the insurer is responsible for legal fees if the employee wins in a workers’ compensation dispute.
According to InsideCounsel magazine, disputes are sometimes necessary if an employer retaliates against an injured worker for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Employer retaliation may include the following:
- Reducing an employee’s wages or health benefits
- Moving the employee to a different location or position within the company
- Intentionally demoting the worker or denying a promotion
- Firing the employee
If a company has retaliated against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim, he or she has the right to pursue legal action against the employer. Injured workers can also appeal a claim’s denial.