Union Member Workers’ Compensation
Labor unions protect the rights of members in the workplace, and in most cases, provide additional benefits to union members that non-union employees do not receive. Nearly all employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, whether they belong to a union or not. However, union members may be entitled to additional benefits or a compensation system that differs from their non-union co-workers.
Unions establish labor contracts between their members and a business, typically known as “collective bargaining agreements,” that outline the employment rights and benefits that members will receive. Through these contracts, union leaders and company management decide on the payment, schedules, and other policies.
Unions and Workers’ Compensation
In a collective bargaining agreement, unions will typically specify the workers’ compensation benefits their members will receive if they are injured on the job. These union workers’ compensation benefits often substantially mirror state law regulations and employer provisions, but union officials may also demand member-specific benefits only available to employees in the union.
Many labor unions maintain a reserve of additional funds intended to provide other benefits to their members. These resources can supplement employer-provided coverage or offer benefits to employees who do not receive certain types of assistance from their place of work. These benefits can include workers’ compensation and other benefits like medical and dental insurance, life insurance, paid time off, unemployment benefits, and retirement benefits.
Aside from directly providing benefits, unions may assist in other areas of a workers’ compensation case. A collective bargaining agreement between an employer and a labor union may entitle member employees to safety-related information that applies to their claim.
How Can Unions Help?
Aside from negotiating for union-member benefits, unions have also been known to stand up for all employees on certain “hot-button” issues. For example, unions have joined with the state legislature members in asking for essential workers in the coronavirus pandemic to become eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they fall ill with COVID-19
Unions fought for this eligibility because front-line workers have a higher risk of catching the virus yet may be left without benefits if they become ill.
Contact Brown Paindiris & Scott, LLP for More Information
Aside from understanding workers’ compensation law, there are even more complications when a union is involved. You need an advocate for your rights, people who are on your side and your side only. The workers’ compensation attorneys at BPS Lawyers have 40 years of experience protecting union workers’ rights and ensuring you get the maximum benefits you deserve. If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, contact us for help.