Big Box Retailers And Workers’ Compensation Claims

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Almost everyone has shopped at a big box retailer at one time or another.  They are everywhere these days and they sell just about everything, from pet food to lumber.  Their success is based on moving a large amount of product at good prices. Because of the sheer size and abundance of these retailers, they employ a huge amount of people in South Carolina.  Unfortunately, some of these employees get hurt on the job.  This is where things can get bad for the injured employee because some big box retailers treat their injured employees like just another product.

Big Box Retailer Policies

Big box retailers are no different from any other employer in that they must comply with South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws.  Unfortunately though, many of them have corporate policies in place that are harsh and unfair to those who have been injured on the job.

There are some secrets in the big box industry that are kept from the average associate when it comes to being injured on the job.  First, many big boxes are self-insured.  This means that they choose to be their own insurer when it comes to workers’ compensation.  To an injured associate, it means that the retailer will do everything within the law (and sometimes, outside the law) to avoid paying claims if possible.  This is because any benefits paid out come directly off of their bottom line.

The next secret is that regardless of whether the retailer is self-insured or not, the corporate office of the company often “fines” the business unit when claims are filed.  This means that if the store files a workers’ compensation claim for an injured employee, they get hit with a substantial hit to their profit and loss statement that is totally unrelated to any cost of the claim.  What’s more, many retailers often get hit with an even more substantial fine from the corporate office if they don’t file a reported claim within a specified time period.  What does this mean to the injured worker?  Some retailers will discourage an injured worker from filing a claim because of the impact on the bottom line.  Further, some employers feel so much pressure from the corporate office to control costs regarding workers’ compensation that they will fabricate times and dates in the file so as to not get fined by their own company.

Finally, big box retailers push their injured associates to come back to work as quickly as possible because it costs many of them a substantial amount for every day that is missed due to injury.  Many retailers pay a per-day charge either to their insurance company or to their own corporate offices for injured associates.

Let Our Attorneys Help You

In business, workers’ compensation costs are considered a controllable cost.  They are often budgeted at $0 and every dime that has to be spent comes out of a company’s bottom line.  Through the practices illustrated above, many big box retailers put a severe amount of pressure on their individual business units to control these costs.  As a result, injured workers are often subjected to unfair and even illegal treatment.  If you have been hurt on the job in Upstate South Carolina, you need to make sure that your rights are protected.  Dan Pruitt has been advocating for injured workers for over 20 years.  Call the office today at (864) 232-4273 to set up your free consultation.  He has the experience and skill to get you the results you deserve.

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