Today’s topic is Worker’s Compensation
A Worker’s Compensation Policy is one of the major “devils” that will be one of the most cantankerous, costly and unfair items foisted upon the employer. This “beast” is a real tush biter and you won’t even fully appreciate its bite until after the policy year has expired… Why is this so?.. Remember the State laws are tilted towards the allegedly injured employee along with an administrative procedure that provides that injured employee liberties that are not imaginable in the real business world. For example, an employee may find over the holiday when they are not working that they injured their back or leg or some other appendage and realize that they had better make this a worker’s compensation claim come the following work week. It is very hard for an employer to defend against this unless you have done a better than average job of hiring and being selective in personnel that become a part of your company. We are not at all suggesting discrimination, but good business personship is required prior to adding that needed new member to your company.
While you may be under extreme pressures to add personnel because of the work demands of your customers, this is not the time not to be rapidly adding to your work force in a wonton manner. You need to properly interview your applicants, along with uniform drug testing, motor vehicle reports (with written permission from the applicant) where the individual may be called upon to drive regularly or even occasionally, and requiring physical examinations at the company expense after a conditional job is offered subject to their passing that type of exam ( Do remember, that this exam should be limited in scope to developing an indication that the applicant is or is not going to be able to perform the duties of the job for which had been tentatively offered, to the applicant. (Further keep in mind that you may be required to offer a “reasonable accommodation” to that individual as required by your State and Federal Laws).
If you have an employee who will have access to any financial books and records or to access of expensive property either the company’s or that of its’ customer’s; a criminal background check is very well in order. The use of such a background report must be with the written permission of the applicant and with a report of appropriate nature given to the applicant if that record was acquired and was part of the reason that you did not hire that individual. The same applies when ordering their credit reports.
The above suggestions are not mandatory but suggestions of good business practices that provide you with a much better layout of the background of the individual who is applying for work. This coupled with a good interview and a check of the individual’s references becomes the input for which you must make a serious decision.
We always suggest that you let your gut feelings become a very important play in your decision making, as the human interaction between the applicant and the employer gives rise to many subtleties that can keep you from making a mistake in hiring that individual.
With the above said, the opportunities for investigation as stated above, properly utilized should give rise to a much lower worker’s compensation claim frequency and severity and a much better employee to represent you in front of your clients in a more professional and respectful manner. That “more qualified person” is your continuing goal as you add and subtract from your family of employees. Today’s marketplace is full of good people seeking jobs and you can be very selective. On the same token, as an employer you must extend yourself to your employees knowing that you do care, are there to help and become part of his or her success and sometimes a solution solving employer when they run into trouble.