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When you start a new job, you expect to have to wait a few weeks or even months for certain benefits to kick in. For example, it’s common for companies to have probationary periods where new employees don’t have access to things like a 401k, paid paternity and maternity leave, paid vacation and sick days, or health insurance until they’ve accrued 30, 60, or even 90 days of service.
Even the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires a minimum number of hours worked for eligibility, which is currently 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months before the applicant’s injury, illness, or other event requiring leave occurred. But what about employees who get hurt on the job during their probationary period, including on their first day?
Unlike FMLA, workers’ compensation benefits are available right away to new employees. Even employees who are in their companies’ “probationary periods” are eligible to file workers’ compensation claims, regardless of whether they’ve worked for one month or one hour.
The only requirements that must be met for a valid workers’ compensation claim are:
Note that if you’re in a contract-to-hire role, you AREN’T eligible for workers’ compensation benefits until you’re officially hired as a full employee, whether your role is full-time or part-time.
It seems like a nightmare scenario—you wake up excited about starting a new job or even a new career, but before you even know all of your coworkers’ names, you’ve suffered a serious injury that will put you out of work for more than one week.
How does this happen? There are several ways that employees can get hurt on day one of a new job, including:
Regardless of job title, occupation, or industry, all employees are susceptible to injuries at any time, even their first days. And when those injuries happen, they deserve compensation for their missed paychecks.
Many employees are hesitant to tell their supervisors or managers after they suffer on-the-job injuries, including those who have great relationships with their coworkers and years of service and equity. It can be even more difficult and intimidating to report an injury and file a workers’ compensation claim after getting hurt on your first day, but not doing so can be a big mistake.
If your injury requires medical treatment and causes you to miss work, not taking the proper steps can make you unable to file a workers’ compensation claim, period. Or, if you decide to file but you waited too long to report your injury, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) may be skeptical of your claim and less likely to believe that it happened while you were at work.
Finally, remember that it’s against the law for your employer to fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, regardless of your tenure or probationary period status in the company.
Workers’ compensation claims are complex, and many are rejected by the BWC for minor oversights and mistakes. Don’t risk losing out on the benefits you’re owed. Contact the Ohio workers’ compensation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy today for a free consultation. We’ll work hard to get your claim approved, or if you’ve already been denied, we’ll fight to win your appeal.
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