Employer and Employees: Workers Compensation

workers compensation, TJ Woods Insurance, Worcester, MALife is uncertain: nowhere is this clearer than the workplace. Regardless of your industry or location, employees will get injured while on the clock. Just as it is the responsibility of the employer to provide the safest work environment they can, it’s also their responsibility for your workers should they get injured in the line of duty. This is why Workers Compensation Insurance exists and why United States’ federal and state law requires employers to carry it.

The History of Workers Compensation in the US

Over a hundred and fifty years ago, US states started passing the Employer Liability Acts (and similar bills) between 1855 and 1907, allowing injured employees to sue their employers, provided they could prove that it was due to negligence or omission on behalf of the company. Statewide compensations laws would start to pass in the 20th century, though most were voluntary. Now all states with the exception of Texas (which has a volunteer opt-out program) require businesses to carry Workers Comp for their employees.

Workers Compensation Laws in Massachusetts

Just like in (almost) all other states, in Massachusetts all employers are required to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance, with their policy covering all employees in their business. This covers all businesses of all sizes and in all industries, and covers the employer themselves if they are considered an employee of their company. There are exemptions: those who are officers in the company who own at least a 25% interesting in the company can exempt themselves from requiring coverage.

Differences Between Workers’ Comp and Other Insurances

There are many insurance policies that help protect yourself and your employees from the results of injury and resultant unemployment. It’s important to know the differences:

  • Disability Insurance provides payment benefits to workers who become disabled as a result of work-related accidents. While Workers Comp is concerned about the injury and the treatments required for workers to resume work at full capacity, disability insurance is for permanent disabilities as resulting from work-related injuries.
  • Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides payment to those who lose their jobs and plan on rejoining the job market. UI is run on a state level and provides periodic payments to eligible people, using funds from taxes leveled on businesses.

Business Tips Related to Workers Compensation

  1. Document all accidents in detail, including time, location, cause, and initial injury.
  2. Provide all possible assistance to a worker if they are injured at work, up to and including medical or ambulance service.
  3. Do not discriminate against employees that make claims. Termination related to filing claims or injuries will not hold up in court.
  4. While providing Workers Compensation provides immunity to most liability related to the injury, there are exceptions. Know your state’s law on the matter.

It’s required to have Workers Compensation Insurance for your business, so it’s important to know your policy options: reach out today to TJ Woods Insurance. We can provide you with a free quote on our policies, and go through your options on Workers Compensation.