Workers who are injured on the job in Connecticut have the right to compensation for injuries and lost wages. However, this right is governed by laws and procedures and is not always a foregone conclusion. Employers have the burden of promptly investigating a claim for compensation and informing workers of the reasons for denying the claim.
There are times that an injured worker may have a progressive medical condition unrelated to a workplace injury that is later aggravated by a work injury. Determining whether a worker may be fully compensation for a pre-existing condition and workplace injury requires close scrutiny of the particular facts.
Connecticut's workers' compensation provides for employer liability for hospital care for injuries. However, courts have to determine whether hospital rates are based upon whether rates are contingent on what the hospital's actual costs to provide medical services or on the hospital's published rates that it is required to charge any payer under state law.
Connecticut grants workers' compensation for injuries arising out of employment and occurring in the course of employment. Generally, injuries may not be compensated when the injury occurs at the employee's residence or during acts while preparing for work, unless the employer specifically directed that the work accident victim perform these acts.
Workers in Connecticut who are injured on the job are legally protected against discrimination and retaliation from their employers when they file claims for workers' compensation benefits. Violations may result in civil lawsuits for job reinstatement, payment of back wages, reestablishment of benefits, payment of attorneys' fees and even punitive damages.
The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration reported figures from the National Safety Council that fatal and non-fatal workplace injuries in the United States resulted in $198 billion in losses in 2012. Taxpayer-supported programs, injured workers and their families bear the brunt of these costs, according to OSHA.
Federal and Connecticut laws protect injured workers. According to the Office of Legislative Research, an employer can consider an injured workers' absence from employment as family and medical leave under the state and federal Family and Medical Leave Acts if the reason for the absence meets FMLA requirements.
Connecticut's workers' compensation law provides for payment to workers who are injured during the course of employment. An injury also may come from the result of a risk involved or incident to employment or the conditions under which the work has to be performed. Injuries may be compensated when it occurs during the period of employment, at a place where the worker may be during work and when the employee is fulfilling work duties or incidental work.
Connecticut, like other states and the federal government, does not have a law that specifically prohibits workplace bullying. The United States is alone among western democracies by not having this type of legal prohibition. Healthy Workplace legislation has been introduced in several states to fight this problem.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a preliminary report in September finding that Connecticut had 26 workplace deaths in 2013. This was a decrease from the 36 reported in 2012. The United States suffered 4,405 fatal workplace injuries for 2013. These statistics demonstrate that Connecticut workers' compensation is essential.