Most employers will get a Workers Compensation policy from an insurance company and assume the insurance company will pay any claims. This isn’t true at all. Before you can educate employees, you must be a knowledgeable employer. You have to take the time to learn how to educate yourself about coverage and claims as well as transmitting that knowledge to your employees.
Compensation Paid by Employer
Whether it’s fraud or a legitimate claim, the cost for the injured employee comes out of your pocket. The insurance company will lend you the money to pay for the employee’s medical bills and lost wages, but you’ll pay that back in higher premiums in the future. The premium increase comes from an increase in Experience Modification, which is a way the insurance company compares actual losses versus expected losses. This obviously changes with a claim.
Myths about Educating Employees
There are employers who believe that if you educate the employee about workers Compensation, you’re telling them how to work the system. When telling employees that the company is providing them with these benefits along with the others they enjoy as an employee, they’re not more likely to try to take advantage. Any employee who would make a fraudulent claim doesn’t need the employer’s help. That dishonest person would have done it anyway. When you sit down and explain workers compensation as you would with other benefits, you’re showing them that you care about their welfare. This honesty and openness can lead to less compensation claims from employees who don’t need to make a claim.
How to Educate Them
When an employee is brought into the company, paperwork can be given to them along with information about other benefits. There are flyers and brochures that can be added to the break room. Those are all passive ways to let employees know about workers compensation. For current employees, you could have a meeting to discuss compensation. Let employees know that the money comes out of your own pocket, but if they are ever injured, you want them to be cared for properly without worry. Your employees will likely appreciate that you’ve had a meeting to discuss compensation and that you’ve taken steps to ensure they are safe.
Be Aware of Fraud
At the same time, you want them to be aware that any fraud will be immediately reported to the authorities. You won’t tolerate an employee who essentially steals from you. There can be some employees who aren’t seriously injured but want the time off work. They might believe that it doesn’t hurt anyone except the insurance company. This is why education is vital.
Supervisors should have training in how to deal with injuries on the job. This should be the key contact person during the time that a person is injured and when they’re home recovering. The supervisor should be involved with the employee’s care as much as possible. This could involve messaging the employee to communicate your desire to have the employee recovered and back to work. The level of contact with the employee will give a clear message that they are missed. Nobody wants to be home alone and injured thinking that their employer doesn’t care. The contact between the supervisor and employee shouldn’t have the ring of harassment or intimidation. It should be genuine concern about the care being received as well as clear communication about wanting them back at work as soon as they are able.
Workers compensation can seem like a tricky benefit to communicate to employees. It might seem like they would take advantage once you’ve brought up the subject. Most employees are honest and will appreciate that you’ve taken the time to educate them. They want to know that their employer cares about their well-being and safety.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Rachelle recommends a worker’s comp lawyer in Las Vegas for those that have further questions. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700