Restaurant workers labor for long hours at a physically and mentally demanding job for relatively low pay. The work is stressful, and the working conditions are often dangerous. Injuries occur frequently.
Like other employers, restaurants must provide workers’ compensation coverage to their staff. Any restaurant worker with a job-related injury could claim benefits.
The program can be challenging to understand, and restaurants often do not have an HR professional to help staff navigate the process. A local hospitality industry attorney at Shook & Stone, experienced with workers’ compensation for injuries in Las Vegas restaurants, could offer valuable assistance.
Common Injuries Among Food Service Workers
A restaurant is full of hazards, and accidents happen frequently. Slips, trips, and falls could happen to any restaurant worker. Almost all food service workers spend long hours on their feet, which could cause shin splints, foot problems, and back injuries.
Kitchen staff often suffer burns from flames, steam, or hot grease. Severe cuts could result if a knife slips while preparing food; knifework and handling pans could also cause repetitive strain injuries. Kitchen workers are exposed to potentially dangerous levels of heat and smoke, which could lead to respiratory illnesses over time.
Servers and bus staff can develop shoulder and elbow injuries from lifting heavy trays and moving tables and chairs. Front-of-house personnel risk injury from violent or intoxicated patrons. Workers’ compensation will provide benefits to injured workers regardless of the type of injury, but the workers’ compensation insurers often erroneously deny claims. A dedicated Las Vegas attorney could assist an injured restaurant worker in this situation and ensure they receive the benefits they need and deserve.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Restaurant Workers
Every private employer in Nevada must provide workers’ compensation insurance to its employees. The program covers full and part-time employees from their first day of work. Many smaller employers may not have much experience with the workers’ compensation program, so it is worthwhile for someone with a job-related injury to consult a qualified legal professional to ensure they receive their benefits.
Workers’ compensation pays for medical care for people injured while engaged in work-related activities. The free treatment is available from approved healthcare providers only. An injured person must check with their employer and seek treatment from a medical professional on the employer’s approved list.
When an injury prevents an employee from performing their job, the program pays them a partial wage while they cannot work. The payment includes tips when calculating a restaurant worker’s average monthly wage. Workers’ compensation also offers payments to workers who suffer permanent partial or total disability from their work-related injury. Claiming permanent disability benefits through workers’ comp is complex, but a seasoned lawyer could steer an injured restaurant worker in Las Vegas through the process.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Restaurant workers are used to pushing through discomfort to finish a shift. Although restaurant culture encourages this behavior, it is unwise in most cases. Finishing the shift might aggravate the injury, and it potentially could weaken a workers’ compensation claim.
Anyone injured at work should report the injury to their supervisor immediately. Completing a written incident report within seven days and keeping a copy proves that a worker reported the injury and complied with the legal timeframe governing workers’ compensation injury reports. If the injury requires emergency treatment—like a cut that must get stitched—or prevents the employee from working—like a sprained ankle—the worker should get treatment from an approved medical provider.
The employee must complete part of Form C-4, and the doctor completes the other part and submits it. Nevada Revised Statutes § 61C.020 allows a worker 90 days after the injury to file Form C-4. If the insurer approves the claim, the worker should receive benefits within a few weeks. If the insurer denies the claim, our skilled team of Las Vegas workers’ comp attorneys at Shook & Stone could help an injured restaurant employee appeal the decision.
Injured Restaurant Workers in Las Vegas Should Seek Workers’ Compensation Help from an Attorney at Our Firm
Many restaurant workers do not have good health insurance, and getting medical treatment for an injury could be prohibitively expensive. Taking time off to let an injury heal might not be economically feasible for many restaurant workers.
The workers’ compensation program provides free healthcare and a partial wage if you need time off work after sustaining an injury while working in a restaurant. Work with an experienced lawyer who knows how to obtain workers’ compensation for injuries in Las Vegas restaurants. Call Shook & Stone today.