Shortly after he participated in the Labor Day parade in New York City, Governor Cuomo announced that the state will be providing $5 million in grants to not-for-profit organizations in order to improve worker safety.
Safety Issues At Not-For-Profit Organizations
Not-for-profits are organizations that exist to do work for the good of the community. The owners of the company do not collect any profits and the money used to keep the organization going is either earned or donated.
While these organizations do phenomenal work and change the lives of thousands every year, the fact that they do not turn a profit can mean that funds available to address workplace safety are minimal, meaning that employees are frequently at risk.
The dangerous conditions experienced by a worker typically depend on the type of organization they work for. For example, employees at an animal shelter are more likely to be bitten by a dog or cat than someone who sits behind a computer. A worker in a group home is more likely to sustain a back injury because they spend their days lifting patients.
Whatever the safety concern is, the governor hopes that the new grants will help to eliminate some of the unsafe conditions leading to injuries that could have easily been prevented.
What Can The Grants Be Used For?
The details of the grants have not been released yet, however, it can be speculated that the money from these grants might be used to:
- improve training programs
- purchase protective equipment
- invest in a better workplace in general – for example. remodeling a workspace to eliminate any potential hazards in the building – like poor flooring
Do Organizations Need To Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Yes. Under state law, employees need to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This way, if they are injured, insurance will provide them with coverage for their medical bills and, in some instances, lost wages.
I Applied But My Claim Was Denied
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation claim denials are much more common than they should be. But a denial doesn’t mean that you won’t ultimately get the compensation you deserve, it just means the path will be a little bit longer.
The first thing to determine is why the denial was received. The reason will be included in the denial letter. Sometimes the issue is as simple as an error on the application. In other cases, however, a full appeal may be required before compensation is awarded. If you have questions about why your claim was denied or need assistance with an appeal, contact an attorney as quickly as possible.
There are strict deadlines for both filing the initial claim and an appeal which is why an injured worker should never hesitate to start the process.
Can My Employer Contest My Claim?
Yes. This is a common reason for claim denial. Sadly, in an effort to prevent their insurance costs from going up, employers will contest a claim and say that their employee’s injuries did not happen while at work.
This is why it is vital that anyone who is injured on the job begin to document the accident and their injuries as quickly as possible. This may mean taking photographs, asking co-workers or other witnesses for statements regarding what they saw, and keeping copies of all medical records from every doctor that performed an examination after the accident. This evidence will help to show a timeline and proof that the injury happened while the applicant was performing their work-related duties.
Can They Fire Me?
No. An employer cannot fire an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim or for appealing the claim if the employer contests it. If an employer terminates employment because you filed a claim, it may be possible to file a lawsuit for discrimination or retaliatory termination.
Can’t I File A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
It may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit, however, this lawsuit would not be against your employer. Filing a workers’ compensation claim prevents an employee from suing their employer for compensation. Often, however, a third-party is responsible for the accident which resulted in the employee’s injuries and they may be held liable for their negligence.