PORTLAND and PENDLETON, Ore. If you’ve been injured on the job, it is important to understand your rights. Workers have the right to report workplace injuries and seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation. Under Oregon’s laws, almost all workers are covered by worker’s compensation, and virtually all worker’s have the right to file a claim if they’ve been hurt. In order to protect worker’s rights, new federal laws will prevent employers from using drug testing after accidents or injuries to stop workers from reporting their injuries.
According to the Journal Gazette, policies that require workers to submit to drug tests after accidents take place or policies that reward workers for preventing accidents may discourage workers from reporting on the job injuries. In order to protect worker’s rights, the federal government is imposing stricter sanctions on employers who discourage workers from reporting their injuries to worker’s compensation. For instance, employers will be fined $12,740 for their first citation. This is almost double the previous citation amount of $7,000. Repeat violators face must stricter sanctions, with fines up to $127,400.
Many employers require workers to submit to drug or alcohol tests when they are injured on the job. Under the new law, these mandatory drug testing policies may no longer be legal. While employers are permitted to perform drug or alcohol tests if they have reason to believe that a worker’s intoxication led to the accident, in cases where drugs or alcohol have no bearing on the accident, drug and alcohol testing are no longer legal. For instance, employers will no longer be permitted to threaten workers with drug and alcohol testing for reporting repetitive strain injuries or other injuries involving safety violations or issues. If you are facing pushback from your employer for reporting a workplace injury, it is important to protect your rights. You have the right to report your injuries without penalty. In some cases, workers seek the assistance of an on the job injury lawyer in Portland or Pendleton, Oregon. Visit www.joelwbaruch.com to learn more.
These changes to the law come along with new reporting requirements for on the job injuries. Under the new laws, employers are required to report injuries electronically. This way the government can better track employers with a poor safety record and allow the general public to access a company’s safety and health violations.
While employers are encouraged to maintain safe workplace environments and encourage their workers to be safe, the new laws will make it illegal to reward safety with bonuses, pizza parties, and other incentives. These rewards sometimes have the unintended consequences of pressuring workers to avoid reporting their injuries and may promote a culture where injuries are not reported.
Workers who have been injured on the job should understand their rights. If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident and are having difficulty making a worker’s compensation claim or need help with a personal injury lawsuit in Irvine California, are facing pressure from your employer regarding your claim, contact The Law Office of Joel W. Baruch, P.C. today.