Friday, June 03, 2005

From I just signed away my Workman's Compenation at work today

I found this to be astonishing. I don't know how much more these companies are going to get away with. I'll enclose the URL so you can see the posting over on DU. Bring on the IMPEACHMENT trials so we can get this country back on track!!
SRSU (69 posts)
Fri Jun-03-05 06:16 PMOriginal message
I just signed away my workers compensation at work today.

Well looks like it's time to find a new job.
I am unbelievably upset about this.I went to work today and management had groups of us go to the training room to watch a video. Ok, I thought this must be some refresher training or something. Wrong.

The company produced a video (apparently on a $10 budget it was that bad) informing us why signing away our workers compensations rights in the next 5 minutes was going to be a GOOD thing. It consisted of staged questions to a narrator from company "employees" (or at least people dressed like them) asking questions along the lines of "Why is the company plan better?" "Do I still have all my rights?" and other BS. This was the most Orwellian experience I've ever had.

Apparently this is something that they can now do in TEXAS and we were given a small booklet called "Injury benefit plan for Texas Employees".

Here are some highlights from "the plan" of things that MUST be done EXACTLY or the company is obligated to do NOTHING.

1. Apparently an injury must be reported within 24 hours (to the minute) - in your writing - of the time the injury occurred. Further, you must have seen a doctor in that time AND your doctor must write up everything in detail AND you must bring that in within that 24 hour window. How many people will be thinking they need to do that within 24 hours of being seriously injured? (assuming they are able to in the first place)

2. You must use a company approved doctor, hospital, or clinic. NO EXCEPTIONS. AND that "company approved" doctor MUST see you in that 24 hour window. Why do I have a feeling the company approved doctor is going to have a busy schedule and just won't be able to fit you in that 24 hour window? Of course I don't know because they didn't provide a list of approved doctors.

Further, there is a hospital *literally* within 5 minutes of the work site. The "company approved" hospital is anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour away. If I cut off my hand or fall off a ladder and crack my head I sure as hell am not going to the hospital that's 45 minutes away. But if that happens and you don't go to the approved one you're shit out of luck.

On the same page it says "Don't wait! Your injury might get worse if you delay reporting it to us" NO - it might get worse if you're spending your time driving 45 minutes when a hospital is 5 minutes away.

3. The customary drug/alcohol test.
What is this? How can this be legal? WHEN did this become legal? Considering the republicans control this state I'm sure the legislature allowed this convenient opt out program.

The booklet tries to justify it by telling you what a great plan it is and that other companies like "Home Depot" and others have similar programs. The plan is supposed to be great because it allows "fast handling of medical benefits".

So I signed the paper because it was made very clear if you didn't you could go home. The worst thing is that I had no choice in the matter except to be unemployed and I feel dirty and used because of it.

I asked some of my coworkers if they were pissed off about this and none of them seemed to care. One of them told me I was over reacting. Considering we've just all been screwed I don't think so.

What good is workers compensation if companies can now opt out of it? This is unbelievable, and as soon as I find a new job I'm just not going to show up. I'm not even going to give the greedy bastards notice. The company makes MILLIONS every year and they feel the need to screw every employee in the state like this???

Here's the last line of booklet which is a real laugh "Remember we want to help you. We will look forward to welcoming you back as soon as the treating physician issues a medical release saying you are able to return to full or modified duty." Yes, I can tell the company is very serious about "helping" injured employees.

I don't know how we got to this point of corporations getting away with things like this, but it's getting REDICULOUS people.

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