As rail workers, BRS members fall under FELA law and are not covered by traditional Worker’s Compensation laws. If you have been active in Union matters, you have inevitably heard your representatives speak of the important distinctions for those covered under FELA and the ramifications should you be injured at work. Unlike Worker’s Comp., there is no obligation under FELA for the treating physician or the injured worker to provide medical information to the employer, nor is there any requirement for employer approval for a medical procedure. These are just some of many fundamental differences an injured rail worker should be aware of.
It is incredibly vital for members to have access to important FELA information and know who to contact the moment they need help the most (when an injury occurs). For this reason, the BRS consistently hands out literature at new hire training and local meetings. Many of you may even keep one of those little yellow Designated Counsel pocket cards on the fridge at home for a spouse or loved one. Despite our best efforts to inform, it is inevitable that, when those frantic and traumatic moments occur, many find themselves not knowing what to do.
There is one device we are confident nearly all will have access to, even in those times of medical emergency – the cell phone. And we are hopeful that your cell phone has the brsbnsfgc.org app installed. If it does not, we encourage you to download it today. We are currently adding a resource tool on our website and mobile app to provide you with relevant FELA, On-the-job-injury and Designated Counsel info. This will help us ensure you have instant access to these important details at the moment they are needed the most.