Lessons from uninsured employers and why you cannot sign away entitlement to workers’ comp benefits in Michigan.
Almost every employer in the State of Michigan is required to purchase workers’ comp insurance. The system is designed to protect both employees and employers in the event of a workplace accident. Medical treatment and lost wages are paid regardless of fault. In exchange, the employer receives immunity from tort liability.
Misclassification of employees is a constant problem. This occurs when an employer says a person is an independent contractor and fails to obtain required insurance. It is extremely short-sighted as officers and directors of the company become personally liable for payment. In addition, the employer losses the protection of the exclusive remedy provision and can be sued for additional damages like pain and suffering.
Some employers see the writing on the wall and make payments for medical and wage loss outside the workers’ comp system. We have even seen employers require individuals to sign away future benefits. This is not permitted or acceptable!
Michigan law is clear that no agreement by an employee to waive his or her rights to workers’ comp shall be valid. The only way for an employer to get a release is through a redemption hearing. A magistrate will hear testimony and decide if a settlement is just and proper. A redemption can only occur after 6 months from the date of injury.
Do not let your employer play games with workers’ comp benefits! Call an experienced lawyer if you are having trouble getting medical or wage loss benefits.
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 (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by danielmoyle.