Imagine you’re at work, you get hurt and go through the standard practice of filing a workers’ compensation case. Except when you expect everything to go just fine, you receive a denial letter. Your demand for compensation and coverage of your medical care was denied, and why? Well, because your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance policy claims that you were violating company policy. Company policies are in place for your employer to avoid negligence, and they go far beyond what happens in your job every day.
That means that it’s absolutely critical for you to have legal support after receiving this type of workers’ compensation denial. If you’re having trouble getting compensation for your work-related injury, call a Charlotte attorney that accepts workers’ comp cases right away.
The Employee Handbook’s Guide and Closing Statements
Your employee handbook is probably filled with statements that, to some degree, justify negligence. They aim to put as much responsibility on the employee as possible, and to that extent, it’s impossible always to prove negligence or show that the employer limited employee rights in some way.
Your employee handbook for nearly any company probably has a closing statement that reads something like, “The employee agrees to follow all company policies, procedures, and standard practices.” That statement stands apart, and most employees never think anything of it because it sounds pretty straight forward. However, that one sentence can get companies in quite a bit of trouble. Not only can policies, procedures, and practices nullify each other, but it can make it impossible for an employee to follow all of them.
The guide of the employee handbook should be to practice safety, follow company policy, and ensure that you’re working to protect your employee-employer relationship. However, that’s usually not the case.
Understanding the Policies You May Not Know About
Did you know that your employer probably has a social media policy? Or, they may have a no disparagement policy which prohibits you from sharing or saying negative things about your employer online or otherwise. That means that a report to OSHA could, in theory, violate a no disparagement policy. Clearly, that’s not the intent, or is it?
Companies work with legal experts to craft policies to avoid negligence so that they can stand up to workers’ compensation claims and lawsuits that are justified. They do this to make it seem as if the victim were in some way, violating or voluntarily terminating their employment with the company. They can even make it seem as if the victim was at fault.
For example, if you were completely unaware that your employer had a procedure or policy for safety product movement and handling, then you may not have known at all that they required every product move to be a “team lift.” These unknown policies can become a hot debate when appealing a workers’ compensation denial.
Using Policies to Avoid Negligence and Paying Workers’ Compensation
The policy is the first line of defense when it comes to employers fighting claims for workers’ compensation, unemployment claims, wrongful termination disputes, and even employee lawsuits. Companies rely on their policies to protect them, and they’re written in a way that produces a lot of legal protection. However, if those policies or procedures aren’t enforced or followed up on, then there are serious issues.
A policy or a procedure existing does not mean that you don’t have a case or a claim. In fact, your claim may simply turn from proving negligence to proving that the policy is not implemented.
Sketchy Negligence Cases and Claims of Procedural Misconduct
Umbrella statements such as “no horseplay” are often the basis of procedural misconduct. Basically, the company will say that they weren’t negligent, you were. They will claim that you failed to follow all the rules that you failed to follow the procedure and that with these broadened terms, you put yourself and others at risk of injury.
You can fight these claims because usually, they have no support. A policy existing doesn’t mean anything on its own, and it then falls to the employer to prove that you weren’t “playing around.”
Get a Charlotte Based Workers’ Compensation Attorney Now
If you’re in a situation where your employer is arguing that you failed to follow company policy, then they have no intention of paying out on workers’ compensation. For employees, it’s a cruel tactic that makes them not only feel neglected further but also as if they have no options in taking care of medical expenses.
Injuries on the job are the responsibility of the employer. At our Charlotte, NC workers’ comp law office, we fervently believe that every employer should pay up for their negligence or mistakes when an employee is hurt. Contacting our offices will help you regain some control over your North Carolina workers’ compensation claim.