According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend roughly 90,000 hours during their lifetimes at work. This provides ample time to experience an on-the-job injury or illness.
If you have a work-related injury or occupational illness, you need to know your rights under Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation system. Three are particularly valuable to you.
1. The right to receive benefits
Sustaining an on-the-job injury or illness may make it virtually impossible to support yourself or your family members. Fortunately, you probably have a right to receive workers’ compensation benefits, unless any of the following apply:
- You injured yourself during horseplay or in a fight you started
- You injured yourself in a voluntary off-duty activity
- You injured yourself intentionally
2. The right to receive medical care
If you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you have the right to medical treatment. Although there are exceptions, you also have the right to see the doctor you choose.
If you are not happy with your first-choice physician, you may pick a second one. Your employer generally may not interfere with your first or second choices of health care providers.
3. The right to be free from retaliation
Your employer may not terminate your employment or take other types of adverse employment action simply because you filed a workers’ compensation claim.
If you believe your employer may have retaliated against you because of your workers’ compensation claim, you may need to act quickly to protect both your career and your ability to support your future self.