Correctional Officers & Prison Employees: Workers’ Comp Challenges
For correctional officers and other prison employees, workers’ compensation benefits can be hard to obtain. Cases of denied workers’ compensation are common in the news...
Locked Out of Just Compensation?In November 2018, the Ross Correctional Institution in Ohio saw over two dozen employees rushed in for medical attention after they were exposed to a mixture of heroin and fentanyl. Their injuries and following side effects took place while they were on the clock, but their workers’ compensation benefits were soon brought into question.
What’s more, these workers aren’t alone. In fact, in New York City, “workers’ compensation claims filed by correction officers and other Correction Department employees hurt on the job surged 24 percent to 5,007 in 2017, costing the city $5.3 million in medical expenses and lost wages, according to Law Department records.”
As the number of claims being filed increases, cases of denied workers’ compensation for correctional officers and other prison employees has finally reached the ears of legislation officials, and they are beginning to take notice.
Changes in PolicyAccording to WCMH in Columbus, a spokesman for the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation said that policy changes earlier in the year should allow coverage for testing and diagnosis for any prison employees exposed to toxic chemicals and dangerous drugs on the job. This policy also creates a level playing field for all prison employees, regardless of position or job title.
However, Rep. Rick Perales promises to take steps to ensure that all correctional officers and prison employees are provided with workers’ compensation benefits regardless of injury or exposure. He told reporters that he’s in the process of preparing legislation to extend this coverage to police officers, paramedics, and others who put their safety at risk on a daily basis for their jobs.
If you’ve been injured while on the job, and you’re not sure of your benefits and rights, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help.