Who has more work during the down economy? A lawyer who represents people injured on the job expects he may be getting more work.
Scott Gennarelli, an attorney with Salenger, Sack, Schwartz & Kimmel in Woodbury, NY, says the economy could lead to companies cutting corners with safety. And of course, that could lead to more workplace injuries — and related lawsuits that his firm handles.
In a Long Island Business Review story headlined, “Down economy ups risk of construction injuries,” Gennarelli says economic pressure on builders could lead them to try to save money by having fewer workers do the same amount of work, rushing construction or saving money on materials.
According to Gennarelli, “There are incentive clauses. If contractors finish earlier, they get a bonus. If they’re late, there are penalties. That leads to pushing workers to get work done.”
Another point of view
A contractor quoted in the story, who asked to remain anonymous, provides a different point of view.
He says a down economy isn’t likely to change some companies. “There are always people who cut corners. Will people cheat when times get tough? Some people will never cheat.”
And speaking of cheating, another unidentified contractor quoted in the story says he’s seen a surge in workers’ comp claims among people about to be laid off.
“This is a pattern I’m observing,” the contractor said. “It was brought to me by my comptroller who said we’re having workmen’s comp claims for very minor injuries that seem to occur in the couple of weeks before we downsized.”
Example: An employee who fears a layoff may file a report complaining of a pulled muscle. It’s an injury that’s difficult to disprove.
After being laid off, the employee uses the previously filed report to apply for comp.
Have you experienced a recent rise in workers’ comp claims? Is this a pattern you’ve experienced in previous recessions? What sorts of bogus workers’ comp cases have you encountered?
Let us know in the Comments Box below.