Walmart — How One Company Treats (Mistreats) Injured Employees
I just read an interesting article titled:
The Walmart Stocker Who Quit And Told Off Her Bosses Over The Intercom
The article was published late last year. How did I miss it? Apparently, the Walmart employee reached the breaking point and quit over the store-wide intercom. That’s right — The employee quit over the intercom, telling everyone in the store exactly how she felt. Like the old Johnny Paycheck song, it was a real “take this job and shove it” moment.
In the article, the reporter interviews the now ex-employee about her work. The ex-employee discussed how she hated working for a company she felt did not appreciate her. I’m sure many people can relate to her feelings.
While I don’t know the details of her specific work, I have represented numerous Walmart employees over the last twenty-plus years who suffered serious work-related accidents and injuries. More than I can count as I sit here. I’ve pursued and tried numerous workers’ compensation cases against Walmart here in Alabama. I’ve heard and seen plenty from injured Walmart workers in Alabama.
I have definite opinions about how Walmart treats its injured workers. In Alabama, workers’ compensation is designed to provide both medical treatment and disability benefits for injured workers. Medical benefits are very important. Under our work comp laws, you are entitled to medical treatment for your injury regardless of disability. And, you are entitled to this treatment without time limit. Medical care for injured employees is even more important at companies like Walmart which do not typically provide health insurance to workers.
So, why am I talking about Walmart and medical benefits for workers injured on the job? Here is the reason — Walmart regularly insists its workers give-up any rights to medical treatment as a condition for settling claims related to separate disability benefits. That’s wrong. That’s unjust. It’s unjust for Walmart to condition the payment of disability benefits upon a release of any right to separate and legally required medical treatment.
This is an issue that impacts all of us. It impacts the injured worker. Make no mistake — It also impacts the community. We all suffer from Walmart’s insistence that its workers give-up medical benefits.
This leaves many injured Walmart employees stuck between a rock and a hard place. To get the disability benefits you need without pushing to trial, you must give up the right to medical care. But, if you give up that right, then you may be left later with no ability to get the treatment and rehabilitation you need. Or, you will then spend your disability benefits for treatment. Or, you will require assistance for medical care. You must choose between the short-term (a few dollars to pay current bills) versus the long-term (a chronic, untreated medical condition). Walmart put you in a bad position to make a bad choice.
This bad position hurts injured workers. It also leaves affected communities paying the bill Walmart really owed. Communities are impacted by workers unable to get the medical care needed to return to work. All taxpayers are impacted because they ultimately pay the tab Walmart should have paid. Make no mistake — Everyone else in the community pays for Walmart’s decision.
If you are injured while performing your job at Walmart, you have a right to medical treatment for your injury. Take that right seriously. Do not release the right for a few dollars that will quickly be gone. You can take your case to trial. If you suffered an injury at work that is covered by workers compensation, Walmart will have to provide you medical care.
The Blackwell Law Firm represents people across Alabama who have suffered serious personal injuries. If you have questions, let us know. We are happy to discuss your questions or injuries.