Workers’ Comp – It’s the Employee vs. the Employer

During the most common course of a worker’s compensation claim, there is a simple on-the-job injury to an employer of a South Carolina business. The employee performs a laborious task or strenuous labor. The employee is injured during the task, and reports the injury to the supervisor. The supervisor then takes the injured employee to medical attention, whether that is an Emergency Room or Urgent Center.

But, after that- the lines of a ‘common’ case become blurry. The employee may be so injured that they are under a doctor’s care and cannot immediately return to work. Once the employee relays the doctor’s orders, they may or may not receive time off pay. If it isn’t available, an employee may be out of work, and without pay. The employee now doesn’t have an income, their employer is starting to distance themselves- what should the employee do? Contact Naert & Dubois!

Our primary concern is in obtaining proper medical treatment for our injured clients. We notify the Workers’ Compensation Commision and employer’s workers’ compensation Insurance Company. Did you know that the employer’s insurance policy may cover all medical treatments for injured employees? The policy may even have provisions for the employee to receive partial pay during the recovery period.

  • What if the injured employee is only paid in cash?
    • Then we’ll ask for an employment contract/agreement
  • What if there is no employment contract/agreement?
    • Then we’ll ask for an email/text confirmation of employment
      • Such as a text between you and your supervisor conveying employment.
    • What if you don’t have any communications between you and a supervisor?
      • Other employees can verify you worked with them.
    • What if there were no other employees?
      • It will be your word against their word.

The employer has protected themselves by paying the employee in cash, without a contract and the employee is left with nothing. So what can be done? Often nothing. If there is no bank account to track the cash, no pay stubs to say where the cash came from, no employment contract to confirm employment, no coworkers to verify employment, no communications regarding employment- there is no record of employment. The employee faces an uphill battle at a workers’ compensation hearing because he/she/they cannot prove they were an employee much less that they were injured during the course of work, reported said injury to a supervisor and was compensated for their labor.

Employees should always have proof of their employment- even if it is not a formal contract, a pay-stub, emails, texts, or any type of communication which can verify employment when the injury occurred. Keeping a record of time worked and pay received is also very helpful, even if it is a handwritten record.

While we want to believe in the best of mankind, we also have to prepare for the worst of mankind. If you do not keep records of your actions, whether it be through the course of employment, finances or in your personal affairs; it can come back to haunt you. You must protect yourself; if you don’t protect yourself, no one can come to your defense and no one can come to your aid.

Hilton Head Office
22 New Orleans Rd #1
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Mailing Address
Post Office Box 7228
Hilton Head Island, SC 29938

Telephone: (843) 686-5500
Facsimile: (843) 686-5501
E-mail Zach Naert
E-mail Joseph DuBois