Steve Forsythe: Workers beware

November 3, 2012 

Workers beware

Regarding workers’ comp and policing employers who don’t buy insurance coverage (Oct. 28 news story), the solution is simple. Look at your pay stub. If you have no withholding for workers’ comp, ask yourself, “Does my health insurance cover me if I get injured on the job?” If you’re not sure, check your policy. If you have no policy or it doesn’t cover you for work, you’re in trouble.

If you think your insurance company will step up, you’re wrong. At best, if your employer should be providing workers’ comp but doesn’t, there will be lots of finger pointing between it and your insurance company, but no one will pay unless forced (by you, with accompanying legal costs).

So if you have no withholding on your pay stub, ask why not. If your employer is withholding workers’ comp from you and he has not actually bought the insurance coverage, that’s fraud. He may deserve to go to jail but that won’t help you if you’re injured; when the legal smoke clears, you’ll still likely be responsible for your expenses.

You are responsible for your own well-being. Know your insurance status. Make sure your state representatives support strong workers’ comp laws and regulatory agencies.

Steve Forsythe, Holly Springs

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