Workplace Injuries: What to Do in the Aftermath

It’s not surprising to know that the workplace can be a particularly dangerous place for individuals involved in manual labor jobs. Accidents happen frequently in worksites for manufacturing, mining, and construction. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, more than over 2.9 million workplace injuries were reported in the private industry sector during the year 2013. These reports showed that the most common accidents in high-risk workplaces are slipping and falling, toxic exposure, electrocution, and those caused by defective equipment or machinery.

There’s no foolproof way to completely prevent this accidents from happening in workplaces. However, as the lawyers of Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC note, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was legislated in the US as a way to protect workers from the serious consequences of these situations. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires that employers follow certain regulations, including ensuring that their workplaces live up to particular safety standards. When these standards aren’t met, other avenues have been made available for workers and employees affected by such negligence.

Workplace accidents often lead to injuries affecting an individual’s ability to work and earn a living. Workers in this position are left with very little options. Recovering from a workplace injury will require taking time off from work, and many individuals might not be able to afford taking such a long break from their source of income. Fortunately, the law entitles workplace accident victims to workers’ compensation benefits. The compensation awarded to victims can help in covering medical bills and additional expenses.

Still, even with the available legal procedures, many people still find it difficult to claim the workers’ compensation that owed to them. In fact, the process of claiming workers’ compensation can tediously take a long time. Injured workers are advised to seek out assistance from an experienced legal professional to help expedite the process.

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Possible Damages In An Overtime Wage Claim

If necessary, employees are willing to do overtime work. And if you do so, the FLSA requires your employer to pay you overtime wage. The sad news is that, as bared by the website of Williams Kherkher, many companies do not pay employees the overtime pay they are entitled to. For employees who were denied their overtime pay, they can file a claim and recover damages from their employer.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA, employees can recover their unpaid wages with an overtime pay lawsuit. By filing a case, an employee can recover damages and make their employer liable. The FLSA usually awards liquidated and punitive damages to a plaintiff. Liquidated damages are unpaid wages which is equivalent to the amount that your employer owed you. It is often called as “double damages.” An employer can avoid paying liquidated damages if they can show that their act was done in good faith. Second, that they had the reasonable belief that they were not required to pay the wages being questioned.

When it comes to punitive damages, the FLSA does not have specific provisions. However, some courts will award punitive damages if there was retaliation from the employer for an employee who exercised their rights under the FLSA. However, Federal law restricts the awarding of punitive damages, However, some states have laws that award punitive damages for intentional wage violations. The available damage shall be dictated by either the state law or court discretion.

There are instances when interest on the unpaid wages can be awarded by the court. You will also be receiving what is so-called “waiting time” penalty which is equivalent to 30 days of the employee’s unpaid wages. If you win the case, your employer will also pay you attorney’s fees as well as the costs for pushing through with the case.

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