Workers’ compensation is an important aspect of employee rights. It can provide financial assistance to workers who suffer injuries or illnesses in the course of their employment.
However, there are several misconceptions surrounding workers’ compensation in Massachusetts that often lead to confusion.
Myth 1: Only full-time employees qualify
More than 27 million people in the United States work part-time (less than 35 hours a week). Part-time and seasonal workers often believe they are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, Massachusetts law does not discriminate based on employment status. Even if you work part-time, you could get compensation if you suffer a work-related injury or illness.
Myth 2: Reporting delays do not affect claims
Some workers mistakenly believe that delays in reporting workplace injuries have no impact on their ability to file a workers’ compensation claim. The truth is that timely reporting is necessary. Massachusetts law requires injured workers to report their injuries to their employer as soon as possible. Failing to report promptly may jeopardize your claim, so notify your employer promptly.
Myth 3: Compensation covers only medical costs
Another common myth is that workers’ compensation only covers medical expenses. While medical costs are a significant part of the benefits, workers’ compensation in Massachusetts also provides coverage for lost wages during the period of disability. In some cases, vocational rehabilitation benefits may also be available to help injured workers return to the workforce.
Myth 4: Employers can retaliate for filing a claim
Workers sometimes fear retaliation from their employers for filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, Massachusetts law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who seek benefits.
Dispelling these common myths ensures that workers can navigate the process confidently and access the benefits they rightfully deserve.