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How Do Unions Affect Workers’ Compensation?

How Do Unions Affect Workers’ Compensation?

Organized labor unions have existed in the United States for over a century. Created to protect workers’ rights and generally make the lives of employees better, a union can be any organization which is formed in the workplace to defend employees. Unions also give workers the power of collective bargaining, which provides strength in numbers when negotiating with employers. Notable accomplishments of unions include improving wages, securing benefits, and creating better working conditions.

However, unions also create certain guidelines which members must adhere to. If you have recently been hurt in a work injury, and are a member of a union, you may be wondering how your status in that union will affect your ability to receive and negotiate for workers’ compensation benefits.

While unions may no longer hold significant power throughout the state of New Mexico, there are certain areas where union mandates have done a lot to improve workers’ lives. To learn more about how your workers’ compensation eligibility may be affected by being in a union, keep reading, and contact Albuquerque workers’ comp lawyer Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law if you have recently been injured on the job.

The Way Unions Affect Workers’ Compensation

In best-case scenarios, unions can have a positive impact on workers’ compensation policy by advocating for positive changes like increased safety regulations. Some labor agreements strike a bargain by lowering the cost of insurance company insurance, while strengthening employees’ rights in relation to recovery times for illness and injury.

A strong union will send representatives to engage in collective bargaining with employers on a regular basis to secure benefits, including workers’ compensation. While all employees are allowed to pursue workers’ compensation claims, union employees may have to adhere to specific guidelines defined in their collective bargaining agreements when filing a workers’ comp claim.

At most workplaces, the workers’ comp requirements outlined in a collective bargaining agreement are likely to be similar to the requirements outlined by the state. This is not always the case, however, as some unions may allow for more or less workers’ comp benefits, depending on the danger of a given job. This is why it is important to be aware of the deal your union has reached with your employer before filing for workers’ comp.

While unions can go on strike if certain demands are not met, this can put employees who have been injured and require workers’ compensation in a difficult position. Most unions have welfare funds which exist as reserves for injured workers, allowing them to receive benefits for everything from work-related injuries, to health and dental; care, to paid leave, to disability benefits and life insurance. However, in cases where you require extensive medical coverage for an injury, it may be necessary to hire an attorney to ensure you are compensated for your injuries, even if your union agreements remain in limbo.

Unions & Attorneys: Working Together for the Good of Workers

When unions and lawyers are both functioning as they should be, they are working together to advocate for the rights of workers. Whether you are a union member or not, it may be a good idea to hire an attorney to go above and beyond what is required in order to secure you maximum compensation.  An attorney may also coordinate with unions to help define rights and to ensure employers are adhering to agreements completely.

At Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law, we routinely work with police unions and firefighters’ unions to make sure those who serve our community receive everything they are entitled to when they are injured in the line of duty. Union or non-union, we believe that work injuries should not limit your life. Hire Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law for workers’ compensation reorientation today, and start fighting for the future you deserve.

Call (505) 219-2176 now or contact us online. Remember, you don’t pay unless we win.


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