Workers’ compensation is an essential insurance system that provides injured workers with medical treatment and replaces lost wages when after an injury on the job. In virtually every state in the nation, the law requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. In exchange for these benefits, workers waive their right to pursue additional litigation (such as a personal injury lawsuit) against their employer.
Texas is one of the only states that does not require workers’ compensation insurance for all its employers. Because of this, nearly half a million Texas employees do not have coverage if they incur an injury at work.
Costco Wholesale Group, however, chooses to carry workers’ compensation insurance for those who sustain an injury throughout the course of their employment. If you incur an injury on the job, Costco will compensate for your lost wages and medical care, assuming you meet certain requirements.
Contact a Houston workers’ compensation lawyer to get help with your claim.
Requirements for Reporting a Workplace Injury At Costco
Costco lays out certain ground rules for Texans who incur an injury on the job. If you have been injured on your shift, do the following:
- Report your injury as soon as possible. Costco rules require you to report your injury to your immediate supervisor by the end of the next business day. Do not wait – you may lose your eligibility for benefits, and your symptoms may get worse.
- Complete an incident report. Within 24 hours of reporting the injury, complete an incident report with your employer.
- Get medical care. Costco requires that injured employees use an approved physician or facility for treatment. You must receive your first medical treatment from an approved provider within 14 days of your injury.
- Get drug and alcohol testing. Costco will not reimburse for injury or lost wages if your injuries were the result of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Follow your doctor’s orders. If you want to receive benefits, Costco requires that you follow physician instructions and keep all your appointments.
- Inform your employer. Costco will welcome you back to work as soon as your provider signs a medical release proclaiming you fit to return to your duties (on a full or transitional basis).
What Will Costco Cover?
Once you receive a claim approval from Costco’s insurance policy, your benefits will kick in. As a Costco employee, you are eligible to have your medical bills completely covered and receive 85% of your wage as long as you cannot work (up to 120 weeks). The exception to this rule is injuries resulting from the use of drugs or alcohol – Costco will not provide compensation if you fail or refuse to submit to a drug and alcohol screening.
Costco is a “Non-Subscriber”
Many Texas employees receive coverage under a “non-subscriber” plan, which essentially means your employer can be more subjective in how they handle claims. While companies in other states cannot fire an employee for filing a claim, an employer in a non-subscriber plan can technically relieve an injured worker of their position. This should not, however, affect your decision to file a workers’ compensation claim. Getting treatment for your injuries is essential to your health and well-being.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
The workers’ compensation system is complex, particularly in Texas. If you received a claim denial notice, you may be worried about your job or financial stability. In these instances, it is helpful to seek the services of a workers’ compensation attorney. These specialized lawyers will represent your best interests and protect you from wrongful termination. If you have any doubts or questions about the workers’ compensation claims or appeals process, we recommend getting in touch with an attorney with experience in Texas workers’ compensation law.