While you hope that you never have to file a worker's compensation claim for an employee, it's still a good idea to inform your employees upfront about your worker's compensation policies. Doing so can help to streamline the process in the event that there's ever an accident and/or a dispute. Here are some things to include in your employee handbook about worker's compensation.
Who's Expected to Do What
In a worker's compensation claim, both you and your employee will have some obligations to fulfill. For instance, the employee needs to report the injury to a manager right away. Then the buck passes to the manager, who needs to open a worker's compensation claim. The employee can follow up to make sure the claim was started, and then the employee will be responsible for providing details about the incident in a timely fashion. It can even be helpful to set a timeline so that employees understand the flow of information.
What the Worker's Compensation Insurance Includes
Each insurance carrier can be a little different about their guidelines. For instance, some insurance packages only include care from certain care providers, and some insurance packages only include certain types of medical coverage based on the type of injury. You'll want to be clear about these details and/or give employees links to find the most up-to-date information at the time of their injury.
Your Stance on Legal Representation
You may also want to tell your employees how you feel about bringing a worker's compensation lawyer into the proceedings. Some companies want to get a lawyer involved right away, while others wait until there is a dispute about the claim. Having a lawyer involved from the start can help to make the whole claims process more impartial since there's a third party making sure everything is done fairly. And the worker's compensation lawyer can represent both sides and simply act as a mediator. But in either case, by stating any intentions to hire a lawyer upfront, you can make it less personal and more as a matter of business.
If you choose to include information about your worker's compensation policies in your handbook, it can help to alleviate a lot of the stress in case there should ever be a need to use it. Everyone will know what to expect, and you'll have a set procedure to follow so that the process doesn't take too much away from your office productivity.