What do you tell a new employee about workers’ compensation?
How much-or how little- should you tell a new employee about workers’ compensation insurance?
Some employers believe that the more an employee understands how workers’ comp works, the more likely they are to realize that fraud is easily perpetrated. The more likely they are to realize that there is an opportunity to turn an injury that happened away from work, where they will have to pay for treatment, into one that happened at work, where they pay nothing.
There is an undeniable truth to that. However, ignorance is not bliss, and it is better to provide full information on the workers’ compensation system. Informing workers on why the system exists, and how the system protects them, is an opportunity to promote your commitment to their safety, and to their health and well-being. Explaining how workers’ comp insurance protects them, also allows you the opportunity to cover the importance of honesty, of full disclosure on how an accident happened, and on the importance of reporting an injury immediately, so that medical treatment can be provided expediently.
This full discussion also affords you the opportunity to emphasize that workers’ comp fraud will not be tolerated, and that any questionable report of an injury will be investigated. Companies that have the greatest success in deterring fraudulent claims are those that set expectations immediately with every new employee. We recommend that this should be part of the on- boarding process. Discouraging even one fraudulent claim provides the company with a significant financial benefit, and is worth a thoughtful approach to how you cover this challenging subject.
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