When I started this blog, I didn’t expect the outpouring of people like me—struggling to follow and understand all these new laws we may not think about, and also not realizing the impact they have on our lives. For example, I hadn’t thought about what would happen if I was injured at work until I received the story below.
While a lot of Kenyan laws are similar to American laws, there are some key differences. Some employers may even use unfair tactics on those who don’t know their rights! That almost happened to today’s storyteller. If you’re worried about your own case, you may need a lawyer, like she did, for your workers compensation claim.
Unfair Practices in the Workplace
As a new resident of the United States, I spent more time learning about my legal rights in everyday ways, switching my phone service over, getting a license, and other mundane things. I didn’t even think about what a work accident would call for until I’d been hurt while on the job.
I lived in America for a little while, and I’d come here from Spain to work. Still, it seemed like it didn’t matter how hard I worked—my boss said I was out of luck.
I wasn’t willing to accept a denial or let my employer get away with any unfair tactics, though. Instead, I read more about my rights as an American resident and worker. Then, I got ready to file a claim.
It turned out I was on the right track already. I’d acted quickly to notify my employer, since I thought there wouldn’t be much time to spare, just like Spain. I told them that I was on the way to the hospital, and that I’d need workers comp benefits.
However, they acted like I had no opportunity to recover benefits, like wage replacement and medical care benefits. I knew that was wrong, though, based on state law. Now, I was certain they were trying to get out of paying for my recovery.
That’s when I contacted an attorney, who helped me set up a hearing with a workers comp commissioner. It took a little evidence and some further tests with my doctor, but we did it. I got the compensation I needed in a lump sum, and my employer suffered some penalties for trying to keep my benefits from me.
Now, I’m finally getting to rest and focus on my injuries. My leg is healing up nicely, and in a few weeks, I might even be able to return to work. Now, I know what to expect from my employer and I know my rights.
Legal Worries in a New Land
Getting workers comp benefits from your employer can be tough, especially if you’re an immigrant working in America—some employers might assume you don’t know your rights, which hurts vulnerable workers who are injured and struggling to work.
Luckily, you may be eligible, even if your employer isn’t on your side. If you’ve been injured and you’re worried about your recovery, you may have a chance now to get your workers comp benefits. Check out our other stories for more information about American laws or reach out to a lawyer for help with your case.