Steps To Take When You're Doubtful Of An Employee's Witness-Free "Injury"
As an employer, it's important to take every injury that happens at your place of work seriously. While you must ensure that the injured person receives medical care in a timely manner and that the area that poses a threat to employees' safety is cordoned off, you should also begin to investigate the severity of the injury. Unfortunately, employees can sometimes exaggerate or completely fabricate their injuries in order to file workers' compensation claims, and this can be costly for your business. If an employee is claiming to have been injured but there are no witnesses to the accident and it took place out of sight of your security cameras, here are some steps that you can take.
Ask Specific Questions
If you're getting a sense that this might be a fraudulent situation that will lead to legal action, you might think about consulting a workers comp attorney right away. While many workers comp attorneys represent injured employees, many others represent the injured employee's company. Your attorney can give you a list of questions that you can ask the employee in question. These questions aren't designed to trick him or her into admitting that the supposed injury is made up, but are rather designed to get specific answers that you can assess later.
Discuss Resolving The Issue
Someone who is injured at work doesn't always take legal action. The manner in which the employee discusses a resolution to the issue with you can often indicate whether he or she plans to sue you. For example, an employee with a minor injury might simply ask for the rest of the day off and ask you to make a change so that such an injury won't happen again. If you discuss how to resolve the issue with the employee and he or she is evasive, you might get a sense that legal action is on the horizon — which can have you better prepared.
Have Someone Else Ask Similar Questions
When you're asking the employee about the supposed accident and injury, you want to uncover inconsistencies in his or her story. For example, inconsistent details about how the accident took place could suggest that it never took place at all. Recruit someone else to ask questions that aren't identical to those you asked earlier, but are similar. You can then compare the two sets of answers. If there are discrepancies, you may have some strong evidence that the employee is being fraudulent.