For 113 years, Powell Law has represented all types of workers in workers’ compensation cases. The attorneys and staff of Powell Law are experienced in helping injured workers cope with their injury and move forward. The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system grants workers injured on the job with substantial rights.
An employer’s expense in providing workers’ compensation coverage is, of course, an accepted cost of doing business. Yet, there are ways an employer may reduce these costs. Previous blogs have mentioned the formation of a workplace safety committee as well as the importance of reducing fraudulent practices by employers, employees, and healthcare providers. Today’s blog looks at some of the other ways these costs may be reduced in the workplace.
To reduce costs, employers may:
*Offer alternative employment to injured workers.
An employer is obligated by law to offer available jobs to its injured workers if the worker is capable of performing the job. Although recent changes to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act have lessened this obligation to actually find and place an injured employee in alternative employment, doing so helps the injured employee return to work in some capacity and thus reduces costs.
Pennsylvania law allows employers to retain and use vocational consultants to locate and identify available local jobs that match the experience, physical capabilities, and vocational skills of an injured worker through reports referred to as “Labor Market Surveys” which list available jobs using employment listings, want ads, and online employment sites as primary sources.
*Seek exception from the requirements for qualifying executive officers if the business entity is a corporation.
Executive officers who have an ownership interest in a subchapter S corporation, or at least a 5 percent ownership interest in a subchapter C corporation, or who serve voluntarily, without pay, in a non-profit corporation, may apply for exclusion with their workers’ compensation carrier or, if no insurance, to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
*Maintain a list of designated medical providers.
The employer may be relieved of its liability to pay for medical services received by an injured worker during the first 90 days of treatment if it posts a list of six or more healthcare providers. An employee who fails to treat with a medical provider on the list will not be compensated for any rendered medical treatment. At least three of the listed providers must be physicians and no more than four may be coordinated care organizations. The list must also meet other specific applicable legal requirements.
Employers are required to inform its employees in writing of their rights and duties related to the list of providers. Employees must acknowledge in writing that they understand these rights and duties. Once the initial 90-day treatment period has passed, an employee may receive treatment from a doctor of choice and is required to notify an employer within five days of treatment by a non-designated provider.
Powell Law protects workers who have suffered injuries in the workplace by helping them assert their rights to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Our decades of experience make us the clear choice for representation in workers’ compensation cases in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas. We effectively help our clients throughout the entire workers’ compensation claims process. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE!