Could this be you? "Workplace" injuries filed after a holiday weekend
If an employee files a claim the morning after a holiday weekend, think before certifying.
With the long weekend coming up, many employees will be packing their bags and enjoying the end of summer with a quick trip, while others may be using the long weekend to catch up on home improvement projects that they put off all summer. Slips and falls can occur at the pool, or do-it-yourself employees may over exert themselves lifting equipment and materials at home. Whatever employees’ plans may be, injuries can happen at any time—but don’t get caught paying for them with your dime!
Employers need to think twice about certifying a claim reported on the Tuesday following Labor Day weekend. Two common scenarios that employees use when claiming an injury following a holiday weekend are:
- The injury allegedly happened the week before, but the common excuse for not reporting the injury is, “I thought my back would get better over the weekend. That’s why I didn’t report it right away.”
- The injury allegedly occurred within the first hour of returning to work after the holiday.
If an employee comes to you with a Tuesday morning claim, be thorough in your examination. A few questions to consider are:
- Were there any witnesses? Ask “who, what, when, where, how” of all individuals involved in order to compare stories.
- Do you have surveillance cameras? Check not only for footage of the actual injury but also to see if the employee entered and exited on the days around the alleged injury.
- Does the employee’s story make sense? For example, is the employee claiming to have hurt his or her back moving boxes after a delivery, but there are no records of any deliveries during the alleged time period?
If you have any concerns about a claim, do not hesitate to contact an attorney to provide you with tips for a thorough investigation. Questionable claims are often approved by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and result in the employer being stuck defending treatment and compensation requests for a claim that never should have been allowed in the first place.