5 Workers Compensation Issues Women Should Be Aware Of
If you are a woman in the workforce, it is important that you are aware of the unique workers compensation issues that women face. Below are five things that you should be aware of if you have suffered a work-related injury.
Reporting Workplace Injuries
The Centers for Disease Control states that women may be less likely to report work-related injuries than their male counterparts for several reasons. For example, women are more likely to work in part-time, hourly, or contract work that has fewer benefits than traditional full-time work. Additionally, women may be afraid to report their injuries because they may be afraid to lose their job. In some cases, they may not even be aware that they have a workplace-related injury such as carpel tunnel syndrome until the injury has progressed significantly, and they may feel awkward reporting the injury late.
If you are a woman and you suffer a work-related injury, it is important that you report it to your supervisor and get the benefits that you deserve. If you are afraid of losing your job or are unsure of whether to report an injury, you should talk to a lawyer before making your report.
Difference In Injuries Among Women and Men
You may assume that men are at greater risk for strains and sprains than women. However, women often perform repetitive tasks using computers, on assembly lines, or at health care facilities. These repetitive tasks can actually make women more susceptible to strains, sprains, and muscle fatigue than their male counterparts.
You should not assume that because you are a woman you are unlikely to get injured at work. You should know your work's workers compensation policy and be prepared to report an injury if you suffer from one.
Inappropriate Work Machinery Can Often Lead to Injuries for Women
Often, work-related injuries are caused by using machinery or tools that are not designed for women. For example, this can happen when a woman enters a male-dominated field such as construction and her employer fails to provide her with appropriate safety equipment or tools for her stature and physical needs. However, it can also happen in an office where desks and chairs may accommodate the height and build of men more often than women, leading to greater chances of developing carpel tunnel as well as back and neck injuries.
If you have a work-related injury that was caused by inappropriate or unsafe work equipment, it is important that you discuss your workers compensation case with a lawyer, as you may be entitled to greater compensation.
Lower Rates of Compensation Due to Outside Factors
Apportionment is a method of awarding workers compensation based on the amount of an injury that was caused by work factors. For example, if you already have osteoporosis, you may receive lower compensation for a spinal injury. Similarly, if you become pregnant while you are on workers compensation, your benefits may be reduced based on your pregnancy.
Women may face unfair apportionment due to factors involving their gender. It is important that you talk to a lawyer any time your workers compensation package includes a potential apportionment of benefits.
Compensation for Stress and Psychological Issues Caused By Work
In some states, workers compensation benefits extend to psychological conditions exacerbated by a work environment, such as work-related stress that causes anxiety or depression. In other states, psychological factors are not covered by workers compensation. As women may suffer a disproportionate amount of psychological conditions related to work stress, it is important to discuss your case with a lawyer.
If you are a woman and have a work-related injury, it is a good idea to discuss your case with a lawyer at a law office like Shaw Leslie Law Office before proceeding with your work's insurance.