Does Amazon have workers’ comp? The answer to that question for Amazon facilities in Texas is “no.” Texas is the only state in the country that does not require most employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage to employees who are injured on the job. Employers who opt out of the workers’ comp insurance system are called non-subscribers by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). Amazon is a non-subscriber. Amazon and other large non-subscriber employers in Texas may provide some form of insurance coverage for employees who are injured, but it is not official state workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ compensation was put in place to help employees get medical coverage and partial wage replacement benefits when they are injured at work. It is a no-fault system, meaning that a worker who is injured does not have to prove that another party caused their injury in order to receive benefits. It also prevents employees, in most cases, from filing lawsuits against their employers for their injuries.
However, non-subscriber employers like Amazon can be sued if their negligence causes employees’ injuries or illnesses. These non-subscriber employers are required to clearly inform employees that they don’t carry workers’ compensation, but sometimes this doesn’t happen because they don’t want employees to know that the company can potentially be held liable in lawsuits. Or, it is not sufficiently highlighted during the recruiting or hiring process.
Is Amazon a Dangerous Place to Work?
Is Amazon a dangerous place to work? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. The unsafe working environment at the company has been documented in many media reports and by government agencies.
Amazon pressures employees in its high-tech warehouses to meet specific quotas in filling orders or else possibly lose their jobs. The speed at which they must work to get merchandise out the door, often without time even for bathroom breaks, causes undue stress on their bodies and leads to injuries.
The investigative reporting organization Reveal looked at injury records for 2018 from 23 of Amazon’s 110 fulfillment centers. It found that the rate of serious injuries was more than double the national industry average. Amazon warehouses had 9.6 injuries per 100 full-time workers. The industry average was 4. Amazon has also been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for not reporting worker injuries.
Not surprisingly, because of its poor safety record, Amazon was included in 2019 on the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health’s Dirty Dozen list. The Dirty Dozen list highlights companies that put their workers at risk. This was not the first year that Amazon made the list. It was also included on the 2018 list. Last year’s report noted that since 2013, 13 people have died on the job at Amazon warehouses and other facilities. During a single seven-month period, six workers died.
The report goes on to say that recent investigations into Amazon have uncovered workers who were left without resources or income after on-the-job injuries. Denying insurance claims seems to be a regular practice. Lawsuits have been brought against Amazon by workers who were injured and then fired before they could apply for the company’s insurance benefits. In other cases, it’s alleged that Amazon refused to give insurance claim paperwork to injured workers so they could file injury claims. There are also reports of benefits being cut short, even though they were still badly needed. Still other people report being forced to return to the jobs that caused their injuries. This is in spite of doctors’ reports saying the workers had not recovered.
Does Amazon Have Workers’ Compensation? No…And That Leaves the Company at Risk of Lawsuits
Even though Amazon doesn’t carry workers’ compensation, employees who are hurt on the job should not be denied medical treatment and other insurance benefits. If Amazon is making it hard for you to file a claim, or if your claim for benefits was denied, consider reaching out to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who is also well-versed in handling non-subscriber claims. An attorney may be able to help you get insurance benefits or compensation needed to pay for your injuries through a personal injury lawsuit, if your injuries were due to negligence by Amazon or a third party.
Compensation in personal injury lawsuits may include payment for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future lost income
- Pain and suffering
- And more, depending upon your situation.
There are several important steps to take following an injury at Amazon. Closely following these steps may help you get insurance benefits and it will also be valuable to your case should you have to file a personal injury claim.
Steps to Take Following a Workplace Injury at Amazon
Here are steps to take after being injured while on the job at Amazon:
- Report the injury to your supervisor. While certain situations require you to report an injury within 30 days, it is best to do so right away. If you wait, the insurer might not believe you and may try to deny your claim.
- Get medical care immediately. Of course, if you are badly injured, you will be taken to the emergency room. For other injuries, you may be sent to an Amazon-approved doctor.
- File an insurance claim with Amazon’s insurer.
- Get contact information for any witnesses to your injury accident.
- If possible, take photos of the accident scene and photograph your injuries if they are obvious.
It can also be a good idea to keep a regular written or recorded journal of how the injuries are affecting your day-to-day life.
As a non-subscriber, Amazon also has responsibilities regarding workplace injuries. As required by Texas law, non-subscriber employers such as Amazon must report workplace injuries that result in more than one day off work, as well as illnesses and deaths, to the Department of Workers’ Compensation. They must also inform new employees with this notice that there is no workers’ compensation for Amazon employees and also post the notice in areas visible to workers.
Contact an Experienced Amazon and Non-Subscriber Injury Attorney
Our Amazon and non-subscriber injury lawyers understand the lengths some companies will go to in order to get out of paying claims. At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we will work hard to get you the compensation you need to pay for your medical bills and other costs of your workplace injury. Call a highly experienced Houston work injury attorney now at 713-973-8888 or 1-800-444-5000 for a free consultation.