Is Workers’ Compensation a Right for All Employees in Massachusetts?
A recent article from the Shoreline Times is important because it mentions a company that is not properly assisting its employees. It describes protests by the New England Regional Council of Carpenters on May 24th at a work site when three contractors were cited for labor violations. While the protests occurred in Connecticut, one of the companies was located in Massachusetts. The protests were in response to an announcement by the Department of Labor that it had issued stop work orders to three contractors. The most relevant part of the article is that the Department of Labor issued an order because the Massachusetts company did not have workers’ compensation or unemployment insurance coverage for their employees. When a company is issued a stop work order, they are unable to reopen their business until they present evidence that they have corrected the problems that led to the issuance of the order.
While Labor Commissioner Sharon Palmer describes the problem of not having these types of benefits in Connecticut, her point is equally valid for Massachusetts or any other state. She correctly states that these companies are not doing their duty toward the state because they are not providing a proper working environment to which every employee is entitled. She also rightly mentions that the companies are taking advantage of their employees by not ensuring proper protections in case of work accidents.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation attempts to protect employees from being exploited by their employers. If a person works in a dangerous job, workers’ compensation is supposed to assure protection that in the case of injury, employees are not summarily fired without benefits and replaced by healthy workers. Workers’ compensation seeks to provide employees with guarantees in the event they are injured while at work, and ensures that they remain in their job while recuperating from injury. Without workers’ compensation benefits available, it is very easy to imagine a system in which a frugal employer notes that his or her injured workers are unable to perform their tasks and instead hires someone else to do it in their place.
What are benefits of workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation benefits range from medical benefits to death benefits, as long as the injury occurred in the context of employment. In the case of death, workers’ compensation permits that loved ones are protected. It provides a weekly payment that is ⅔ of the worker’s weekly wage as long as the spouse does not remarry. Even if a spouse remarries, dependent children would still receive $60 per week in benefits. It is also important to note that compensation applies toward undocumented immigrants as well, so do not believe that your immigration status can prevent you from filing a claim for justly deserved compensation.
If you are a victim of a work accident and need to file for workers’ compensation, contact the Sheehan Law Firm. We have an excellent reputation concerning workers’ compensations cases and can assist today.
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