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Workplace injuries contributing to economic inequality

Employees in Texas might be interested in learning more about why the U.S. Labor Department claims that workplace injuries are contributing to income inequality. The federal agency released a report detailing the recent findings on March 4. The data published in the report raises several critical issues that are having a significantly negative impact on the U.S workforce under its current construct. It is now clearly evident that there are systemic flaws in the manner workplace injuries are now dealt with.

The Labor Department reports that there are at least four million serious illnesses or injuries reported by employers around the country on an annual basis. The employees reporting the injuries are estimated to be realizing up to a 15 percent decline in the earnings during the 10 years following the injury. On average, the loss equates to approximately $31,000 for the injured worker. Only 40 percent of the employees eligible to receive workers' compensation actually file for benefits, as many may fear retaliation from their employer.

Many workers adopt this mentality because they are unaware of their rights and the protections provided by state and federal laws. Conditions at the workplace have also contributed to the increase in injuries and the difficulty employees have had with actually being able to successfully file a claim. Studies have shown that the current laws often limits the amount of workers' compensation coverage to only account for approximately 21 percent of the total costs suffered by the injured worker.

Employees who need assistance with filing a workers' compensation claim can benefit from confiding in legal counsel. An attorney can investigate the incident and represent an injured worker throughout the process.

Source: Huffington Post, "Workplace Injuries Are Adding To Income Inequality: Labor Department", Dave Jamieson, March 10, 2015

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