While workers’ compensation is a requirement in all fifty states it is not handled by the federal government, with the exception of its own employees. All businesses are required to have this insurance although in some states certain workers aren’t covered.
This compensation is set to provide wages and medical care when an employee is injured on the job. Filing a claim for compensation is a tacit agreement not to sue the company for the injuries received. There are times when the insurer balks at paying these claims which will then require legal action.
Of all fifty states Kansas and Ohio have the most inclusive laws. The Kansas statute says, “Any person who has entered into the employment of or works under any contract of service or apprenticeship with an employer.” There are no exemptions. Legal status is not considered nor the legality of the employment.
Ohio’s is a little longer. “Any person in the service of the state, or any county or municipal corporation, and any person in the service of any person, firm, private or public corporation that employs one or more employees or operatives regularly in the same business or in or about the same establishment under any contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written.”
Other states have varying exceptions for people who do not have to pay for this insurance. Nineteen states list domestic workers as exempt. That would be those who clean the home, cooks, butlers and others. Other states are somewhere in the middle. New York workers compensation laws for example state that a domestic worker must work 40 or more hours per week at the same employer to require state insurance.
Realtors in sixteen states are exempt. In all but one of these states the realtor has to be licensed in order to qualify for the exemption. Licensing requires testing every few years to make sure the person is aware of any new laws that have come on the books.
Independent contractors are exempt in thirteen states. There are some exceptions for construction contractors. This is due to the nature of some of the jobs. Roofing is in the top ten for on the job injuries. Those employees need the protection workers’ compensation insurance provides.
Oddly enough there is only one state that exempts illegal immigrants. Tennessee has that on their books. Several states include a requirement for people who are doing illegal jobs. This may be because they are crimes; drug dealers, burglary rings and so forth. It may also be because the person hired to do the job doesn’t have the necessary paperwork that allows them to do the job.
There are a lot of ways a claim can be denied. If there’s no evidence that the injury happened at work or if it looks like it was done on purpose the employer can deny it. Most states have a deadline for reporting and filing claims. The only state that allows compensation for stress related injuries is California. The other states consider that not something that can be compensated for. It is also necessary to get medical treatment for the injury.
If a claim is denied that is not necessarily the end of the issue. There are many law firms that specialize in getting compensation for on the job injuries. It may take a little more time but it could be worthwhile.
Contributed By: Savino Smollar Workers Comp, Injury & SSD Law 60 Bay Street #703 Staten Island, NY 10301 (718) 448-8121