Workers’ compensation is a beneficial program both for employees and employers since it provides the much needed coverage for medical expenses and lost wages for the former, and compliance and peace of mind for employers. Workplace injuries are evaluated on the basis of comprehensive medical chart reviews, and so the coverage granted is typically fair and unbiased. Unfortunately, the expression “workers’ compensation” has become associated with a negative connotation because often beneficiaries of this program are categorized as “idle” or “greedy.” The extensive scrutiny of workers’ comp claims by employers in an effort to identify fraud and the time taken for the scrutiny put considerable pressure and anxiety on injured employees looking for a fair compensation. This attitude on the part of employers can make employees feel guilty for even filing the claim, which is in violation of the corporate social responsibility to which an organization should be committed.
Workplaces instilling fear surrounding workers’ compensation have a negative impact on employee productivity and morale, and dissuade them from filing such claims. This is a serious concern because employees hesitating to file claims and seek the medical attention they deserve could end up worsening their injury or health condition. It is important for employers to understand that a business that promotes such behavior on the part of employees, whether intentionally or otherwise may be held liable for negligence towards employees.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the number of non-fatal workplace injuries as well as the cases of employee fraud has declined over the years, the number of lawsuits concerning retaliatory actions made by employers against employees who filed workers’ comp claims has increased. This is a wrong move on the part of some employers who seem to consider the workers’ compensation program a threat to them. They need to understand the program in fact offers them protection from non-compliance, and the workers’ compensation laws replace legal liability with no-fault insurance. If the workplace is proved to be hostile, aggressive and reactionary, employers could lose millions of dollars because of illegal retaliation against those who file claims.
Caring for employees is an important aspect of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of a company.
- These responsibilities range from paying employees appropriately to making the workplace as safe as possible. The federal government mandates all businesses to maintain a safe working environment as per the standards of the business’ industry set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Employees must be made aware of areas that have a high risk for injury, and trained in safety procedures to minimize the likelihood of injury.
- Business owners should ensure that each employee is using tools and equipment safe for the business’ particular industry.
- To make sure that the workplace remains as safe as possible, business owners should continually inspect their facilities as well as employee knowledge of safety standards.
Apart from ensuring the physical safety of employees, corporate social responsibility also involves ensuring minimal stress and maximum mental peace and confidence for them.
- A positive working climate can be created by encouraging employees to voice their problems and concerns to the business owner.
- They should feel free to talk to the management staff.
- It is important that the environment doesn’t encourage workers to harass each other in any way.
- Employers should encourage workers to practice a high level of vigilance when it comes to reporting potential workplace safety hazards.
- Employers should show compassion towards employees by promptly addressing safety issues and encouraging them to be open about their experiences while on the job. A better work environment ensures better productivity on the part of workers.
Educating employees about risks in the workplace and implementing effective safety protocols form vital parts of corporate social responsibility. Employers could adopt programs to reduce stress and thereby reduce the incidence of injuries. Such programs prove to employees that the management genuinely cares about them and help reduce claims. When stress is reduced, claims associated with panic attacks, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders will also be reduced.
Any misinformation about workers’ compensation must be corrected for the benefit of everyone in the workplace. Organizations should take pro-active steps to demonstrate their care and understanding of employees, and remove any fear workers may have about filing workers’ compensation claims. Employers should understand that filing a claim after an injury is not a hostile act on the part of the worker; only very rarely is it done fraudulently.
The interest in social and environmental responsibility exists also among the employees. Now many workers want to do more than merely earn a livelihood. They prefer working for socially responsible companies. Research by PwC has found that millennials particularly, want their employer’s corporate responsibility values to be in sync with theirs. Such employees may be even willing to take less compensation in exchange for a purpose-driven and positive work environment, a 2015 study notes. Employers can have a formal CSR department and thereby demonstrate that they are committed to the positive ideals with which millennials identify.
Organizations can build a resilient workforce via a 2-way accountability framework, i.e. by ensuring that employers and employees own and do the things they can. Employees and employers can work together with a common goal and stay motivated to take responsibility for what they can control, and thereby ensure a flourishing organization.