Subscribers Login Subscribe Whitepaper
right ads tower
Lower Ad
Second skyscraper
HR Hot Topics
Top Nav
Home | All Topics > A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Top Social
Bookmark and Share Send to a Colleague
Free White Paper
Featured White Paper:
HR’s Guide to Workers’ Comp

Workers' comp has been a workplace staple for a long time, but it can confound even the most seasoned employers and HR professionals.

Download this FREE White Paper to learn workers' comp basics, including a lexicon of helpful terms, a workers' comp checklist to help you manage the process, and information about your employees' role in workplace safety.

Download Your Free White Paper
Workers Compensation Additional
Additional HR Resources

Understanding HCR
Learn how health care reform will impact your policies and get a timeline of the changes/provisions you must have in place with the all-new HR Hero White Paper

ADA from A to Z
Everything you need to know
about the ADA.

Employment Law Manual
All-new 2012 Edition is fully up-to-date with the latest revisions to FMLA and COBRA and other laws!

The Treacherous Triangle
How to navigate the muddy waters of workers' comp, FMLA, and ADA

Supervisor Training
How supervisors can avoid wage & hour mistakes and other legal dangers

50 Laws in 50 States
Compare side by side and see
exactly what employers need to do

Workers’ Compensation Laws

Workers’ compensation laws first made an appearance in the United States in the early 1900s in response to concerns that employees injured at work were not being treated fairly — workers had little bargaining power and seldom prevailed in court against employers, which generally had the law on their side. Indeed, an estimated 70 to 94 percent of all industrial accidents went uncompensated before workers’ compensation laws reached the United States.

Legislators responded with the workers’ compensation framework — which was essentially a compromise between management and labor. Employers agreed to pay for any work-related injury or illness, without any finding that the employer was actually at fault for the injury or illness; in return, employees agreed to limits on the amount of compensation they would receive as part of a workers’ comp award (which, in some cases, meant giving up potentially large damage awards).

Some of the issues that make workers’ compensation a challenge include how the workers’ compensation laws may interact with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the state equivalents of those federal laws when a worker has a work-related injury or illness. It’s also important to find out who is responsible for work-related injuries for any non-traditional workers an employer has, such as temps.

Benefits Complete Compliance – comprehensive online management reference service and reference manual

In counting employees to determine whether the ADA, FMLA, or your state’s workers’ compensation law applies to your company, be sure you consider any “joint employer” or other rules that may require you to include non-traditional workers in your count.

Generally, the Americans with Disabilities Act, FMLA, and workers’ compensation laws don’t protect independent contractors. But a worker isn’t an independent contractor just because an employer say she is. Be sure you know when it’s okay to classify a worker as an independent contractor and when it’s not.

Every state now has a workers’ compensation statute. Though there are certainly variations from one laws to another, as well as differences in how each state administers its workers’ compensation law, the basic principles behind each state law are pretty much the same.

State-by-state comparision of 50 employment laws in 50 states, including workers compensation

If an employer is a private or public employer, it generally will be subject to the workers’ compensation law of its state if the employer has a minimum number of employees — in most states, that number is one; but in a handful, employers must have more than one employee (as few as three in some states and as many as five in others).

Most states limit the protection of their workers’ compensation laws to employees with injuries or illnesses that occur during the course of, and arise out of, their employment. The “during the course of ” prong generally relates to the time, location, and circumstances of the incident that lead to the injury or illness, while the “arising out of ” prong has to do with the underlying cause of the injury or illness.

Basic Training for Supervisors, easy-to-read guides on employment law for supervisors, including safety and workers compensation