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jjorrick

Is it OK to ask the injured employee not to seek an attorney?

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As an employer, we take very good care of our employees and their treatment but it seems that after they go home and talk with family or friends, they retain an attorney without talking to us at all.  Is it OK to ask the injured employee not to retain an attorney before talking with us?

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You may be objectively right about the declaration that your company takes "very good care" of the workers, etc.  You're free to ask someone whatever you like (no law against asking), but worker is free to find that question itself suspect.  I'm also not sure what your point would be in doing so, since worker is free to disregard you. 

 

Ultimately, when it comes to workers' comp claims, the worker would be wise to engage counsel.  That doesn't mean they will or that they will be better off, but even if your company is self-insured and doesn't have a third-party insurer handling your workers' comp claims, that doesn't mean either you or the worker will know what they're entitled to seek or what should be covered, etc.  (Unless you all have an in-house workers' comp attorney advising you as to what the law allows and what's fair, etc., the very question you pose here would lead someone to believe that you all aren't terribly clear on what the worker may seek, or what you may seek for that matter.)

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I disagree with the prior response somewhat.  Most "injured" workers have no need at all to retain counsel.  Whether such a need exists will depend largely on the severity of the injury.  In any event, I agree that there's nothing wrong with asking an injured worker to discuss the matter with you first.

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 Is it OK to ask the injured employee not to retain an attorney before talking with us?

You can certainly encourage your employees to discuss their issues with you but if words like "Don't retain an attorney" are in there someplace you are very likely running afoul of workers comp laws.

 

Besides, "taking care of your employees treatment" isn't something extra you do for employees, it's a statutory requirement and you have no choice in the matter.

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Guest FindLaw_Amir

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To ask or request that an employee not retain counsel, isn't an illegal act, but could be unethical. However, a threat of action if you decide to seek the advice of counsel would definitely be a violation of the law. Some employers will seek to settle any potential claims outside of the involvement of legal counsel which is favorable to them, but often detrimental to the employee.  Whatever offers may be made, should be reveiwed with counsel before signing any paperwork at all!!!!! Can't stress that enough!

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