In situations in which a worker is injured while fulfilling their job responsibilities, the injured worker is almost always the most vulnerable party. Most workers do not have the means or resources necessary to advocate for themselves against the deep pockets of their employer.
While it's no secret that injured workers are often left with crippling medical expenses and a loss of income, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled against injured workers banding together to file class action lawsuits to collect the compensation needed for them to move forward.
SCOTUS ruling and its impact on workers
In a 5-4 split, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with employers, stating that workers cannot and should not file class action lawsuits against their employers for workplace injuries or damage. According to the New York Times, the case involved a group of California workers who felt that their employer failed to protect their personal data and therefore should compensate them for the damage caused by a data breach.
This decision highlights a trend by the highest court in the country, in which the justices favor rulings that allow companies to promote arbitration and prevent employees from seeking class action lawsuits. Recent decisions provide employers with an increased ability to force employees to take their complaints up on a one-by-one basis.
Ultimately, this ruling combined with the others, only increases the challenges for workers who want to seek compensation for injuries that resulted at work. These can be physical or emotional injuries, as well as damage that impacts their quality of life.
Tips for workers who have been injured on the job
Knowing that there may be limited options available to them, it's important for injured workers to take the correct steps following an incident at the work place. This is what you need to do if you are injured at work:
- Immediately seek medical attention, and make sure that detailed medical reports are filed regarding your injury. Document all expenses that arise as a result of the physical injury.
- Contact a superior and file a report with your company. You need to make sure that your employer knows exactly when and how the incident took place.
- Get in touch with an attorney. Your attorney will help guide you through the process and make sure that you get the worker's compensation package that you deserve.
Don't allow the recent news of court rulings to deter you from seeking justice. While it may be more challenging to file a class action lawsuit against your employer, you are still entitled to receive compensation for the injuries that you received while working. Your worker's compensation package should cover your medical expenses, lost wages and detrimental impact on your quality of life. To make sure that you get what you need to move on from this traumatic incident, contact an experienced worker's compensation attorney today.