No one is safe from an on-the-job accident. While some occupations have far greater risks than others, that does not mean a person working in an office rather than in construction, for example, is at no risk of an injury.
The world of nonprofit organizations runs the gamut, and it is critical that such organizations provide Workers’ Compensation to employees. If they do not, and an employee is injured, the charity may face a lawsuit or have to pay the employee’s medical and/or rehabilitation expenses out of pocket.
Unfortunately, many nonprofits may not realize they must provide such insurance to workers until an employee has an accident. Most states require employers to provide Workers’ Compensation insurance if they have a minimum number of employees, sometimes as few as one person. Even if a small nonprofit has employees below the minimum required for that state, it is still a good idea to provide Workers’ Compensation.
Nonprofits, especially small ones, have to watch every penny, and they want to ensure that funds are targeted toward their particular mission. However, failing to provide Workers’ Compensation insurance is penny wise and pound foolish. One serious accident could put the nonprofit out of business if there is no Workers’ Compensation coverage.
Some nonprofits may operate under the myth that their employees would never sue, because they value the good work the organization is doing. The truth is that an employee may have no choice but to sue, even if they do not want to do so, because that may prove the only means to pay their medical bills or obtain lost wages while recuperating.
No matter how much an employee believes in an organization’s overall mission, very few will decide it is better for them to file personal bankruptcy rather than sue their employer, if there is no other way for them to receive compensation.
While office workers are at lower risk of injury, anyone can experience a bad fall or similar occurrence that puts them in the hospital or affects their mobility. Any worker who types for most of the day is at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. Nonprofit employees may have to travel to various locales as part of the job, and car accidents and related injuries can easily occur.
The work of some nonprofits may entail as much risk as any for-profit business where employees must perform physical tasks. For example, an employee of a nonprofit animal shelter may suffer a serious bite or even a mauling.
If they have not done so already, a nonprofit’s director or board members should look into the requirements for Workers’ Compensation in their jurisdiction and obtain appropriate coverage from an insurer. If a worst-case scenario occurs, this coverage will pay for the injured employee’s medical expenses and a portion of lost wages.
For a nonprofit, Workers’ Compensation not only protects injured employees, but may affect the ability of the nonprofit to continue to provide its services.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured while on the job, you need the services of the experienced Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP. Contact us at 267-589-0090 or complete an online form to schedule a free initial consultation. We serve clients throughout Pennsylvania from our Philadelphia office.