Common injuries in the hospitality and tourism industries include back injuries that occur as a result of bending and straining. While some employers do pay attention to injury prevention, many do not adequately train their workers. Moreover, when workers in tourism are seasonal, there may be no training or attention paid to ergonomics. If you are a tourism worker who suffers job-related injuries, you should consult an experienced Boston workers' compensation lawyer. Although workers' compensation is meant to be a straightforward process, obtaining benefits may be more challenging than you may expect.Seeking Workers’ Compensation Benefits in the Tourism Industry
All employers in the private sector in Massachusetts must buy workers' compensation insurance or qualify as self-insurers. Out of state employers providing tourism services are also required to cover any employees working in Massachusetts so that they may collect workers' compensation benefits under Massachusetts law.
An insurance policy should list Massachusetts coverage in Section 3.A of the policy's Information Page, or otherwise a separate policy may need to be purchased by the employer. If Massachusetts is listed in Section 3.C of the Information Page, an insurer must verify coverage in Massachusetts. Policies are supposed to cover employees from their first day. However, coverage for seasonal workers is elective, which means that it is up to your employer whether or not to offer coverage.
If you are injured or become sick because of activities related to your employment, you have a right to wage replacement benefits and medical treatment. The workers' compensation system is overseen by the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA), which has multiple offices around the state, including in Boston. Among other things, the DIA acts as an administrative court system for disputed claims.
You should notify your employer right away about your injuries. Once a work-related injury or illness results in lost work time of five partial or full days, your employer is supposed to file a First Report of Injury or Fatality within seven days. The insurer has 14 days from receiving the report to investigate and decide whether to pay or deny the claim. A decision to pay is not an acceptance of liability. An insurer may issue a denial at any time during what is known as a pay without prejudice period.
If you have been disabled by work, you should be aware that your employer does not need to hold your job open unless your employment contract or a union contract requires the employer to do so. However, your employer is required to give preferential treatment to rehiring injured employees once they are able to return to work, and it must provide reasonable accommodations if you are a qualified handicapped person under Chapter 151B.Contact a Workers' Compensation Lawyer in the Boston Area
Many tourism workers are focused on making customers happy and comfortable. Unfortunately, less care may be paid to their own physical wellbeing. At Pulgini & Norton, our experienced Boston workers' compensation attorneys may be able to help tourism workers with their claims. We also provide legal representation to claimants in Somerville, Braintree, and Andover, among other Massachusetts cities. Call us at 781-843-2200 or complete our online form to set up an appointment with a job accident attorney.