As a Baltimore, Maryland workers compensation attorney I often get asked what the injured workers employer can and cannot do to the employee.
It would take quite sometime to advise as to all the actions a Maryland employer is prohibited from doing to the injured employee, however I have selected a few prohibitions I often get asked about.
A Maryland employer may not fire an employee solely because they filed a workers comp claim.
For further reading see an additional blog post.
A Maryland employer may not fail to report the injury to the Maryland workers compensation commission
Under section 9-1102 the labor and employment article states that an employer may not fail to report an accidental personal injury within the time required by law. If the employer fails to report the accident they may be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction subject to a fine of less than $50.
There are some restrictions to this section such as “time required by law.” Maryland law requires employers to report the accident within 10 days from the date of the accident however they do not have to report the accident if less than three days of work was missed.
When three days of work are missed and the employer has been notified of the accident the employer must then file a first report of injury with the workers compensation commission.
A Maryland employer may not attempt to influence choice of lawyer
An employer, union official, superior, or other can not directly or indirectly influence the employees choice of Maryland workers compensation attorney through corruption, threat, force, or if the employer, union official, or other has some personal gain in mind.
Significantly, any person who violates this provision could end up spending 6 months in jail and paying $1,000 fine.
Selecting a qualified Maryland workers compensation attorney can be a daunting task and sometimes it is just easier to ask a co-worker or supervisor. If the injured worker decides to do so careful vetting and research should be done to determine if the attorney is qualified.
Your employer can not Fail to Pay Award of compensation
Once the hurt worker goes to a hearing and receives an award from the Workers Compensation Commission the employer or insurer has failed to pay the award in 15 days from the date of the award then the Commission may assess up to a 20 percent penalty upon the employer.
If it has been 30 days then the Commission may assess up to a 40 percent penalty.
In this scenario it will be up to the attorney or pro se client to file for a hearing. Employers and Insurers can argue at the hearing that there was a good reason or “good cause” for the delay in payment.
Employer must give notice that temporary total disability/lost wage benefits are being terminated
A workers compensation insurer must provide a notification to the employee that the lost wages/temporary total disability (ttd) payments are being terminated. They must also provide a notification that payment of medical benefits are being terminated.
There are however some limitations to this section of Maryland workers comp laws. 9-733 specifically states that this rule does not apply to the ttd termination if the employee has returned to work, has been released at Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) by their treating physician, or the commission has already terminated ttd by an Order.
There are however some limitations to this section of Maryland workers comp laws. 9-733 specifically states that this rule does not apply to the payment of medical benefits notice if the treatment was not already authorized by the adjuster, or the physician has stated the injured employee is at MMI.
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