New Jersey waste and recycle giant Action Environmental Group has implemented company-wide measures to improve employee safety and minimize the risk of workers’ compensation claims.

According to the company’s Director of Safety, Ken Levine, the company has been using video cameras for more than a year, filming employees as they go about their duties on the road and during trash pickups. The stated objectives of the program—to learn from any accidents or incidents that do occur, and to provide training opportunities to all employees.

Levine said that the cameras, mounted on the dashboard of each vehicle, monitor both the driver and the road ahead, so that company officials can determine reactions to different situations. Company officials do not review the videos, but send them over to a third party for analysis and to determine if drivers are following safety guidelines and abiding by the laws, specifically with respect to seat belts and other safety measures. If the third-party vendor observes violations, the tapes are sent to Action Environmental and are used to coach employees to avoid safety risks.

According to Levine, during the first three months of the program, there was nearly a 50% drop in the incidents of risky behavior by drivers. He said the company has also seen a similar decrease in workers’ compensation claims filed by company employees. The company has also used videotape as evidence in workers’ compensation proceedings.

Contact the Law Office of Taylor & Boguski

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 856-200-8989.

So you’ve been hurt on the job and you’ve filed an application for workers’ compensation benefits. If your injury isn’t permanent, you may be looking forward to returning to work, but fear that your position will be filled in your absence. Can you protect your job? What can you do to ensure that you’ll have a job to return to when you’re healthy?

As a matter of law in New Jersey, your employer cannot terminate you because you’ve filed a workers’ compensation claim. In fact, your employer cannot discriminate against you in any way because of your claim. So you can’t be denied benefits that workers in similar jobs receive, can’t be denied a raise or a promotion, or given undesirable assignments as punishment for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Obviously, it can be difficult to prove some of these things, but if you can, you will have a claim for discrimination against your employer.

You also have rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a federal statute that protects workers. The FMLA allows you to take up to 12 weeks off (without pay) for legitimate medical reasons without the risk of losing your job. If your employer must fill the position in your absence, you are entitled to your job or a similar position when you return to work.

If you belong to a union, you should also check with union officials regarding the protection of your job. Most union agreements include provisions guaranteeing the right to return to the same or a similar position after a legitimate medical leave.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

Workers’ Compensation Claims – Do I need to See My Doctor?

Mount Laurel Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

If you’ve been injured in a work-related accident, your employer’s worker’s compensation insurer will likely ask you to see one of their doctors to verify your injuries and condition. While this may seem reasonable and simply part of the worker’s compensation process, don’t assume the doctor who exams you is primarily interested in making sure you are okay and being taken care of. A doctor that works for an insurer is interested in determining if your injuries are due in part to a prior condition or as serious as you claim.

In this capacity, an insurance doctor is in part an agent of the insurer and has an incentive to protect the interests of the insurer. As a result, the severity of your injuries may be questioned or downplayed while your length of recovery shortened by recommendation of the doctor.

Consult Your Doctor | Protecting Your Interest after a Work – Related Injury

Under New Jersey’s worker’s compensation laws, an employer (or the employer’s insurer) can select the doctor you have to see. However, you can elect to consult your own doctor if you tell your employer (or their insurance carrier) that you are under the care of a particular doctor. If your employer requires you to see a particular doctor you should be able to see your own doctor after a certain amount of time has passed or to get a second opinion. However, you may be responsible for any expense incurred in seeing a doctor of your selection.

Getting a Second Opinion | Disputes and Worker’s Compensation Claims

When you see the insurance doctor, you’ll likely be asked a series of questions about your medical history and the accident that injured you. If the insurance doctor has reason to believe your injuries are due completely or in part to a prior condition, you benefits may be reduced or denied altogether.

For example, suppose you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome after being on the job for a year and a half. The insurance doctor might ask if you’ve ever had trouble with your wrist or arm before. Suppose you play guitar and tell the doctor that you’ve struggled on and off with pain and soreness for a few years. He might conclude that your injury is due to your guitar playing and constitutes a prior condition.

At this point, if your claim is denied or you contest the benefits offered, you’ll have to file a Claim Petition or Application for an Informal Hearing with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Being prepared with a second opinion from your doctor may provide grounds for honoring or increasing your claim if the court is persuaded by the facts.

Contact Mount Laurel Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Taylor & Boguski

Employers don’t always inform their employees about their rights, nor do they always treat them fairly when it comes to protecting their job and returning to work. If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s important to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure your rights are protected. To learn more about your rights under New Jersey workers’ compensation laws, contact Mount Laurel workers’ compensation attorneys at Taylor & Boguski.