A worker can be defined as any individual whose services are engaged by another called an employer for a clearly stated fee called a wage or salary. Thus the individual is the employee and earns a living wage for the job or service for which the person has been employed.
Basically, the reason for the establishment of a business organization is to make a profit. This is what is uppermost in the mind of most if not all employers, who also have to shoulder the risk of failure should the business fails.
This focus on profitability can in some cases lead to situations where the rights and welfare of the employees are not well taken care of. There could also be situations where the working conditions and environment are not ideal.
To curtail the powers of ruthless employers and protect the welfare of employees, laws were enacted. These laws are now known as labor rights. The concept and reasoning behind these laws are explained in detail here.
It should be noted though that the law also recognizes the fact that employees owe a duty to their employers and therefore also protects the rights of the employer. This is to prevent nonchalance and negligence on the part of the employee.
Compensation Laws in General
Compensation laws are laws that ensure that an employee who gets injured on the job is adequately compensated for the injury suffered.
It should be noted though that compensation rights are not inclusive of the general labor rights. They are rather exclusive. This is because it works more like insurance for employees who get injured in the course of duty.
Thus, an uninjured employee is not entitled to such benefits.
Georgia’s Compensation Laws: What to Know
Perhaps, you are currently faced with a dilemma like this, or you have a friend or relation in Georgia who is faced with this kind of situation. You should know that there are organizations and firms you can go to for a free consultation with an attorney.
The law here provides about nine (9) basic rights of injured workers. Let’s look at these below.
- You are entitled to compensation for medical treatment and rehabilitation. If the injury is fatal, then the family members of the deceased may receive the benefits which will be two-thirds of the deceased’s average weekly wage.
- Where there is a fatality that occurs in the course of an employment duty, the dependents of the deceased may be given up to $7500 for the funeral expenses.
- Where the injury is not fatal, medical expenses may also be paid.
- You are also entitled to payment for up to seven (7) days where you are not able to come to work as a result of the injury.
- You are also entitled to two-thirds of your weekly wage for as long as you cannot come to work because of the injury. To be eligible, the injury has to qualify as a catastrophic injury and you will be paid up to $525 per week.
- You can also be eligible for this pay even when the injury is non-catastrophic. However, this payment will last for only about 400 weeks
- You have the choice to choose from six (6) doctors provided by your employers. The exception to this rule is where there is an emergency, any available doctor may serve.
- If a valid injured worker’s payments are delayed, the insurance provider will have to pay a penalty for the delay.
- Where you are able to come back to work, but can only work in a limited capacity or a lower-level job/duty. You will be able to receive about $350 per week for 350 weeks.
Enforcing your Right, Steps to Take
Upon the occurrence of an accident in which you are injured and will be sidelined from working for a while, the first thing to do is to file a workers’ compensation claim.
If it happens, as it does happen in some instances, that the company or organization that you work for is disputing your claim, the state workers’ compensation board will have to come in and probe the claim so as to come to a conclusion as to the validity of the claim.
If the claim is deemed invalid, you can appeal through the different administrative remedies available. If the outcome is still not in your favor, you can appeal through the state court.
You can read up more on what to do here at https://www.wikihow.com/Apply-for-Workers-Compensation.
On a final note, it is very important that you seek the advice and services of an attorney to advise you on the steps to take based on the unique circumstances of your case.
It is often said that to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Few things can be as heart-rending and demoralizing as being in a disadvantaged position where you are also confused as to what steps to take to obtain a remedy.
Consult an attorney today and get informed on what to do. Be informed!