Uber and Workers’ Compensation: What Recent Tech Trends Mean for Workers’ Compensation
Uber’s refusal to provide workers’ compensation coverage has been an issue from the very start. The problem comes down to laws and regulations. Uber drivers are classified as independent contractors and do not enjoy workers’ compensation coverage.
Independent contractors, by definition, are workers who operate on their own terms. They have full control over the hours they work, and their compensation is commensurate to how long they work.
Even if they are at high risk of injury, they still cannot enjoy workers’ compensation benefits because they are independent contractors. The same goes for those who work online or have project-based employment. This is Uber’s argument: the drivers are not their employees, so the company does not have to provide insurance coverage.
While Uber fights in court to keep workers’ compensation off the table, what do recent tech trends mean for such an important issue? Here is a closer look.
Ease in Gathering Information
Recent tech trends have significantly impacted workers’ compensation due to quicker access to information. Wearables, for example, give valuable insight to workers’ wellness. This is important information for employers to have.
Drones can be employed to assess accidents, or the damage caused by natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. Communication devices are also essential.
They allow a better flow of information and easier administrative work. These contribute to making the process a lot faster, which will be of benefit to the claimants.
Gone are the days when everything is printed and stored in gigantic filing cabinets. Information is now stored in a secure virtual library that can be easily accessed anytime, anywhere. Recent tech trends have digitized all information gathered and have provided a safe place for storage.
Most info can be viewed and retrieved through smartphone apps. Stored and digitized information can be highly accessible. From claim updates to feedback, all you need is one app to do the work. Streamlining communication lessens the load for both insurance providers and claimants.
This innovation is truly useful for anyone with workers’ compensation coverage. Telemedicine is what it sounds like. It is gaining access to health care via computer or smartphone. Employers can consult doctors and nurses via an app. Doctors can assess workers’ wellness or injuries via their phones. Employees can be on the receiving end of medical care through the application.
With accurate calculations and automatic updates, employees can be notified of what they can claim and when they can claim it. All possible benefits covered by their insurance are listed in one app. This makes it easier for them to keep track of their coverage.
While the debate on whether Uber should provide coverage to its drivers continues, it cannot be denied that technology has made a significant impact on workers’ compensation. As technology continues to improve, insurance providers and claimants are challenged to evolve as well.
Are you a worker who needs more assistance with your workers’ compensation claim? Contact Matt Fleming today for reliable legal assistance from an experienced workers compensation attorney.