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Employer responsibility to injured Tennessee workers

Each state has laws concerning injured workers. The state of Tennessee is no different. There are certain responsibilities that every employer has to his or her employees regardless of the cause of any work injuries. Citizens must know their rights to ensure that they are not violated by unscrupulous employers.

Tennessee's Workers' Compensation Act requires most employers to pay the medical bills of an injured employee. Employees do not have to pay for this benefit. Benefits are paid regardless of who caused the injury. Therefore if the employee or co-worker was the cause of the injury, the injured employee may still receive workers' compensation. These benefits should automatically be provided and should not require the intervention of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

When an injury occurs, an employee must not delay in reporting the injury to his or her employer. Though the employer must pay the medical bills, the company can restrict the employee's choice of physician. This may be done by creating an approved list of physicians or contacting the Workers' Compensation insurance adjuster. An employer can also negotiate the cost of fees provided by the approved physicians.

Time is of the essence for injured employees who seek wage replacement benefits. These benefits are paid by the insurance provider. For injured workers who experience temporary disability, payments should be made no later than 15 calendar days after proper notice of injury is given. Unpaid or late payment benefits may be subject to a penalty. Injured workers that have difficulty collecting benefits that he or she is entitled to by law, may wish to consider seeking the help of an attorney to collect full compensation.

Source: Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, "Employer Responsibilities," last visited July 13, 2015

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