Employers have the right to expect - and enforce - a drug-free workplace. Illegal drug use raises multiple problems. It can not only impair the employee's ability to do the job, but also jeopardize their safety - and that of everyone else.
The question recently came to light in a newsworthy case involving two Microsoft employees. The employees sought workers' comp for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) after serving on the company's "Online Safety" team, where they were required to view horrific images and videos involving abuse, rape, murder and child pornography for purposes of removing the content and reporting it to law enforcement. Microsoft has challenged their claim on grounds that PTSD isn't an occupational illness under these circumstances.
Workers' compensation provides a safety net for employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. Generally speaking, employees can't get workers' comp for injuries that took place while commuting to or from work. A car accident on the way to work, for example, probably wouldn't be covered.
Most fatal work injuries result from sudden accidents: vehicle collisions, falls, equipment malfunctions and the like. However, as one case illustrates, job-related deaths can happen out of the blue from something as simple as overwork.
Job-related injuries are commonplace in many fields. When it happens to you, however, the accident takes on a whole new dimension. You may feel panicked and in shock. If the injury is severe, you may not know whether you'll be able to return to work anytime soon - or ever again.
People show up to work every day at what are considered dangerous jobs. But are these workers protected by the same workers' compensation laws as others?
According to Pennsylvania labor law standards, independent contractors are not entitled to employee benefits, which may include worker's compensation. But if you are injured on the job while working as an independent contractor, there's a chance that your employment is misclassified and you should be listed as an employee with all of the rights and benefits involved.
Whether you drive a delivery van, are frequently on the road making sales calls, operate a taxi, drive a large commercial vehicle or are otherwise behind the wheel due to the demands of your job, you need to be aware of your options should you be involved in a motor vehicle accident while driving in the course of employment.
Workers need to know what types of injuries may be covered by workers' compensation so that they know when to seek this compensation and what they may be responsible for on their own. Generally speaking, workers' comp may cover the following: