December 14, 2023
A new industry is coming to Muncie, bringing new jobs with it. Waelz Sustainable Products announced its plans to build a zinc oxide kiln facility at the former BorgWarner site on the city’s west side. The facility should be fully functional by the summer of 2020, and may bring up to 200 new jobs to the Muncie community.
Heavy industry and manufacturing companies in Indiana are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. But not every company treats injured employees well. While the prospect of new employment opportunities is exciting, it is important to know ahead of time how the company handles workers’ compensation claims. Here are three questions to ask about a company’s workers’ comp policy before applying for a job.
1. Does the Company Have an Active Human Resources Department?
Human resources is responsible for staying on top of accident reports and job-related illness or injury claims, and ensuring that employees receive the benefits like workers’ compensation. At a large company like Waelz Sustainable Products, the odds of having a large HR team that is capable of handling workers’ compensation claims is quite high.
Ask current and former employees if the human resources department is compassionate, knowledgeable, and communicative of new policies, employee benefits, and any changes that may occur. Never do you want to find yourself in the dark about procedures or workers’ compensation policies that are put in place for your benefit.
2. Does the Company Quickly Respond to Filed Workers’ Compensation Claims?
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be quite the process. If you are injured on the job, you should report the injury and how it happened to your employer as soon as you can.
If you need medical attention and it isn’t an emergency, you should go to the medical provider chosen by the workers’ compensation insurance provider. If you see a doctor not chosen by the insurance company, your workers’ compensation benefits may be denied or suspended unless you have “good cause” for seeing the doctor of your choice.
After you have filed a claim, the company has 30 days to notify you whether or not your claim has been approved. The sooner they approve your claim, the sooner you can receive workers’ compensation benefits, including income compensation.
If the company is notorious for dragging its feet on claims or denying workers’ compensation to injured workers, then you may be better off working for a different company.
3. How Does the Company Treat Injured Workers?
After a claim is filed and processed, an employer should only be checking up on your claim for the sake of maintaining good records and not to find cause to terminate you. This is more common courtesy than steadfast law in Indiana.
Indiana is an “employment-at-will” state, which means business owners have the right to hire, fire, promote, demote, layoff, suspend, and set work hours and policies for all employees. Even while you may be away from work because of a job-related injury, an employer in Indiana does have the ability to terminate your job if your injury prevents you from performing your job—though they’d have to pay you temporary total disability payments if they did.
Of course, not all Indiana employers operate this way. If a manufacturing company has a past record of doing this to their employees, this may be a deciding factor in choosing whether or not to apply for a job with them.
Help from a Muncie Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workers’ compensation exists to protect employees, and you shouldn’t be retaliated against because you filed a claim. If your employer denies your claim, or if the settlement doesn’t cover all of your medical care, a workers’ compensation lawyer can help. Consult the attorneys at Hensley Legal Group for any questions or concerns about workers’ compensation that you may have. Call or contact us online today for your free conversation.