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Q. I lifted a heavy crate at work last month and injured my shoulder. My doctor is keeping me off work to heal, but my employer is refusing to pay me workers’ compensation benefits because he says the injury was my fault. Is this legal?

A. No. The vast majority of Michigan employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage. If you are unable to perform or obtain work due to a work injury, you should be receiving weekly benefits paying 80% of your after-tax lost wages up to $1,134/week. If the work injury arose out of and in the course of employment, benefits are supposed to be paid. You do not have to prove that your employer was at fault, nor does it matter if you were somehow negligent in causing the injury Only if your intentional and wilful misconduct resulted in injury can benefits be denied. If your employer continues to refuse to pay you your benefits, give us a call for a free consultation.

–Robert MacDonald (May 2018) (updated June 2024)