This week I found myself at the Atlanta office after we got a word from the warehouse manager that an employee had been injured in a slip-and-fall accident. At first, it didn’t make any sense to me that he would call me all the way to Georgia over a single employee’s injury, but when I got there, we discovered that he slipped and fell after one of the biggest pieces of equipment we have malfunctioned, tripping him in the process.
Paying out on a workers compensation claim is no big deal. At this point, we’re a multi-million dollar corporation, and if I’m being honest, I don’t mind helping this employee financially. He has worked for us from the day we opened our Atlanta warehouse, and we should stick by him while he’s struggling.
Unfortunately, I’m not really sure how we should proceed from here with helping him, though. We recently discovered that he was under the influence of methamphetamines at the time of his fall! And we were shocked, I mean absolutely blown away by this knowledge. The hospital had to notify us as part of the work comp claim, so now we know.
Our insurance company isn’t going to be willing to pay his expenses and provide him with benefits, especially now that they have a legal right to deny his claim. I didn’t know this until recently, but apparently being on drugs is one of the only times the insurance company is legally allowed to deny a workers compensation claim without a fight. Who knew?
I’m having a little bit of an internal battle over this because he has been with the company for so long, and I even remember him when I visited this location as a kid. I think I have a good plan of action, but I want to write it down and get it more formalized before I discuss it with my dad.
I think a good plan of action is to cover his medical expenses and such since he was injured at work. But, I want to make his continued employment conditional. He will need to successfully complete a minimum of 90 days at a drug treatment center. We will offer to cover his household expenses and cover the cost of the treatment. From what I understand, meth is one of the toughest addictions to overcome, and if we can help him in any way, I want to do that.