Unions actively work to protect their members from employer mistreatment and unfair conditions. Unfortunately, giant corporations and the media have long slandered unions, making them seem unnecessary at best and an impediment to workers’ rights at worst. For many union members, this negative press can lead to a lot of questions about how being a union member impacts their rights, especially when it comes to receiving workers’ compensation after an on-the-job injury. Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions so you can better understand your rights.
Does Being a Union Member Keep You From Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
No. If you’re injured on the job, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim whether you’re a union member or not. Employers with two or more employees are legally required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance and cannot prevent their employees from filing claims if they’re injured while working.
Can an Employer Retaliate Against You for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim as a Union Member?
No. Employers are not allowed to retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim for any reason. If they do, speak with your workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. They’ll be able to help you navigate the process and can ensure that you receive the fair treatment you’re entitled to.
Will the Union Provide You With a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
In most cases, the union’s attorneys work for the union as a whole, not the individual members. This means you’ll need to find a workers’ compensation attorney to represent your case on your own. The team at Anesi Ozmon, LTD. is dedicated to helping Illinois union members navigate workers’ compensation filing and claims disputes and will guide you through the entire process.
What Can You Do If Your Claim Is Denied?
Unfortunately, there’s never a guarantee that your workers’ compensation claim will be approved, regardless of your union membership. However, if your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision. Your best option is to work with an experienced attorney and let them review your case so you can make the strongest argument possible.
Can You File a Claim If You’re Not Injured on the Job?
Workers’ compensation only applies to work injuries. If you’re injured on the way to your shift or at an outside gathering with your coworkers unrelated to your job, you won’t be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, you may be entitled to short-term disability coverage to help offset your medical expenses.
What Happens If the Accident Was My Employer’s Fault?
The union works hard to make sure you have safe working conditions. If the injury was the result of unsafe conditions or a dangerous work environment, speak with your attorney as soon as possible and let your union representative know about the situation. You can and should report your employer for any OSHA violations that lead to accidents or injuries.
Being a Union Member Means You Can Still Receive Workers’ Compensation
Unions work to protect their members, not strip their rights away. If you’re injured at work, you can still file a workers’ compensation claim to help cover the cost of your medical treatment and receive a portion of your income while you recover. However, if your claim is denied, you’ll want to appeal the decision. The experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys at Anesi Ozmon, LTD. are here to help. Contact us online or call (312) 376-8379 to schedule a consultation.