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News Stories

How Social Media Can Affect Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Employers can use social media evidence to verify workers’ injuries and need for compensation benefits.

Social media has transformed the lives of millions of people throughout the nation. Many people use their profile page to update their status and communicate with friends and family members. When using social media websites, however, people should keep in mind that in addition to their intended audience of contacts and friends, other people may be able to view their information as well. In some cases, social media profiles, pictures and other information put on the internet could be used in cases where people are applying for or receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

A look at workers’ compensation

People who become injured in a workplace accident may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits through their employer, depending on the details surrounding the case. In California employers must provide workers compensation coverage for its employees. In exchange for providing this coverage, workers are unable to file a lawsuit against the company for any negligence on behalf of the employer that led to their injury. Unless, the acts of the employer fall within a serious and willful claim.

How social media plays a role

Injured workers should be cautious when posting status updates and pictures on their social media pages, as these details could be used by their employers to deny workers’ compensation benefits. For example, people may claim that they have a knee injury that keeps them from working, and as a result, receives workers’ compensation benefits for that injury. If those people should post pictures on a social media profile indicating that they are able to lift heavy objects, run, dance or engage in other recreational activities that requires them to use their knee, they may be at risk of losing the benefits.