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Q: I work for a roofer. When I fell off a ladder a few weeks ago, my boss said I couldn’t file a claim for benefits because I work part-time and I was notified when hired that the job might be dangerous. Now the medical bills for my broken ribs are coming du

A:

That’s just not right.

Every workplace in Pennsylvania is required to display a notice about workers’ compensation rules in an area employees can view. It’s important that workers have a chance to understand their rights.

When bosses mislead employees about their rights, it’s usually because they are trying to cheat them or to take unfair advantage of them. It’s pretty clear that’s what’s happening in your case.

Based on our experience as workers’ compensation attorneys, we believe that your boss probably has not followed through on the legal requirement that he buy workers’ compensation insurance. Small business owners in Pennsylvania are required to buy this insurance to guarantee benefits will be available when someone is injured in the workplace. The roofing industry doesn’t have high profit margins, so your boss probably thought he could get away with keeping the money he would otherwise have to spend on insurance premiums. He’s not going to be eager to pay your claim himself, obviously. That’s why he’s lying to you about your rights—in the hope you will drop your claim.

Please, Don't Drop Your Claim

Under the law, an injured worker should receive coverage for all his medical care related to an on-the-job accident. An injured worker is also entitled to partial replacement of his lost wages when he is disabled for an extended period.

The circumstances of your case may also determine your other options for compensation. For instance, if your fall was due to a defective ladder or a malfunctioning safety harness, you may be eligible to seek a recovery from the company that made or sold this dangerous equipment.

Workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania covers all private businesses with at least one employee. You qualify for full medical benefits even if you are a part-time worker. You keep your right to demand a recovery even if you work in a high-risk job. Those are the rules.

If your boss continues to deny you access to the benefits you deserve, there are options. Contact Schmidt Kramer at 888-476-0807 today and ask to schedule a free conference with one of our Harrisburg workplace safety lawyers. Just for calling, we will be glad to send you a copy of our introductory book, Who Pays The Bills When You Are Injured At Work?, at our expense.