Michigan workers’ comp lawyer discusses employer responsibilities and the treatment of Amazon employees who get hurt on-the-job.
The treatment of Amazon employees has been in the news a great deal these days. They have faced criticism over working conditions and how many of their employees get hurt on-the-job. As one of the largest employers in the United States, they need to lead by example and do a better job of helping people. Here are some employer responsibilities to consider if an Amazon employee gets hurt at work in Michigan.
Michigan’s workers’ comp law protects employees who get hurt on-the-job. It does not matter who was at fault provided the incident arose out of and was in the course and scope of employment. There is no waiting period, and coverage begins the very moment work begins. Even accidents that occur during lunch hours or outside the building are covered if on the employer’s premises.
Payment of medical bills under workers’ comp
All reasonable and necessary medical care should be covered under workers’ comp. This includes ambulance trips, emergency room visits, and hospital stays. Items like doctor appointments, physical therapy, medications, durable medical equipment, steroid injections, and surgery must be covered. Employees are allowed to select their own doctor after 28 days from the start of medical care. There should not be any copayments or deductibles owed by the employee.
Is the treatment of Amazon employees hurt on the job fair?
Our experience shows that the treatment of Amazon employees who are hurt on the job in Michigan is not always fair. We have represented several of their employees who have found their medical bills disputed under workers’ comp. This leads to cost shifting to group health insurance and public plans such as Medicaid. This leads to higher medical costs for all of us!
Make up for lost wages when a person cannot perform work
Employees who are disabled are entitled to receive lost wages under workers’ comp. The amount paid should equal 80% of their after-tax average weekly wage subject to a state-wide maximum. This calculation should include overtime, discontinued fringe benefits, and even second jobs that cannot be performed anymore.
The treatment of Amazon employees who are hurt at work in Michigan is not very impressive in our opinion. We have seen wage loss disputes based upon medical opinions from biased sources. Why use a so-called “independent” medical examination when a treating doctor has already said the employee is disabled from working?
Provide vocational rehabilitation assistance
Workers’ comp is also supposed to pay for vocational rehabilitation if an employee needs help transitioning to a new job. It can be used to help with job search efforts, education, or retraining. Michigan law gives employers a powerful incentive to assist because it means they won’t have to pay additional wage loss benefits. Refusing to help people through vocational rehabilitation, as Amazon has been known for, isn’t the best way for them to handle employees who have been hurt on the job.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.