Being injured on the job can bring a whirlwind of uncertainty, confusion, and problems. Knowing your rights in a workplace injury situation is usually not something most employees consider until it happens. How can you make sure you aren’t being taken advantage of by your employer or another party? When it comes to workplace injuries: know your rights.
Basic Employee Rights After a Workplace Injury
So what are your rights as a federal employee?
File a claim – You have the right to file a worker’s comp claim. This makes a legal record of the injury and protects you should you need medical care due to the injury. Your employer doesn’t have the right to tell you no, or try to stop you from filing the claim. The first step to filing is to report the injury to your employer, and in many workplaces, a verbal report is enough.
Medical care – You have the right to pursue medical treatment for any injuries obtained as a result of an injury in the workplace. Whether it is a repetitive strain injury caused by your job duties, an acute injury, or an accident, you have the right to recover from it and become pain-free once again.
Choose your own doctor – You even have a right to choose your own doctor. A lot of people have the misconception that a doctor will be assigned or appointed to you by the Worker’s Comp program or your employer, but you actually are protected by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA), which was amended in 1974 to allow workers the right to choose who will be providing their medical care. Your choice may have to be made off of a list of approved physicians, but it can still be your choice.
Return to work – If you are given a release by your physician, clearing you to work, you have a right to return to your job.
Disability – If you are unable to return to work (whether temporarily or permanently), you may be entitled to disability compensation.
Legal representation – In some cases, workers may need advisement from legal representation not to lose the case, which is another of your rights.
Appeal decisions made by other parties – If you don’t agree with decisions that have been made on the case by other parties, you have the right to appeal them in the court in which your case was filed.
At OWCP Doctors Houston, our experienced team of DOL healthcare providers and administrative staff are knowledgeable in your rights as a federal employee. They can help to make sure you receive the full benefits you are owed according to FECA. We work with patients from the beginning all the way through to the end of the process, helping to get you healthy and feeling great again. Reach out to our office today to get your free consultation to find out more about what benefits you may be entitled to.