After suffering an injury while at work, an injured employee is required to report their injury to their employer within 30 days of the injury occurring. Next, the employer is supposed to notify the workers’ compensation insurance provider about the injury and the injured worker. However, there may be instances where a worker notifies a supervisor or boss, only to have that individual not move the notification up the command change. Alternatively, an employer may delay reporting a worker’s injury.
Why Would My Boss Not Report My Injury?
There are a number of different reasons why a boss might delay reporting a worker’s injury – and none of them are good. For example, reporting a worker’s injury might reflect badly on the boss or supervisor reporting it. On the one hand, safety within a particular work unit might fall on the shoulders of the boss, and the boss might be held accountable for the circumstances that lead to the worker’s injuries. Reporting the worker’s injury might result in a lot of additional work for the boss. On the other hand, there may be an incentive for the boss to not report worker injuries, such as incentives for having an accident-free workplace for a set amount of time. Reporting the worker’s injuries might result in the loss of a bonus, or induce a penalty for the boss.
Employers Have An Obligation To Report Injuries To Insurance Providers
An employer has an obligation to report an injured worker’s injury to the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider within a certain amount of time after being notified that the injury occurred. Under section 409.005 of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, an employer must report the injury to the insurance provider within eight days of:
- Any work-related injury resulting in the injured employee’s absence of more than one day of work;
- Learning knowledge about any occupational disease; or
- Any work-related fatality.
This is meant to place the workers’ compensation insurance company on notice that the injured worker may be filing a workers’ compensation claim in the near future. Injured workers must file their workers’ compensation claim within one year of the injury occurrence, or within one year of when the injured worker knew or should have known that the injury or illness was work related.
The injuries should be reported using the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation Employer’s First Report of Injury or Illness form (DWC Form-001). The employer is also required to provide the injured worker with a copy of the completed and submitted DWC Form-001 in addition to a copy of the Notice of the Injured Employee Rights and Responsibilities in the Texas Workers’ Compensation System.
After reporting the injury or illness, the employer has an obligation to retain this record for a period of five years, or as long as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires, whichever is longer.
A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Could Help
If an employer is dragging their feet so to speak on notifying the workers’ compensation insurance provider about the worker’s injury, a Houston workmens compensation lawyer may be able to assist the injured worker. Hiring a lawyer indicates to the employer that the injured worker is serious about filing for workers’ compensation.