The details of workers compensation laws may vary from state to state, but 74% of all states require that any business with more than one employee purchase some kind of workers compensation insurance in case of work-related accidents or injuries. While this may feel like a burden to some employers, it's actually incredibly beneficial in terms of business law. Here are some key facts and information about workers comp that every employer should know from the start:
Workers comp can protect you from lawsuits.
Purchasing insurance for workers compensation is similar to purchasing insurance for your home or car: It protects you from any accidents or damages that might happen based on your risk assessment. While some people assume that workers comp only benefits employees, it also ensures that most claims can be processed without the need for a team of lawyers and a lengthy court battle that you might otherwise have to pay for.
There are limits to what workers compensation will cover.
Any accidents or injuries that are work-related - whether in an office or on a business trip - may be eligible for workers compensation. However, insurance will not cover injuries to workers caused by drugs, alcohol, or illegal activity; injuries sustained from fights between employees; or injuries that occur as a result of a violation of company policy. If your company is being wrongfully sued for workers compensation, contact experienced attorneys to help you defend your case.
You are responsible for providing your employees with necessary information.
Hiding workers comp information from your employees in the hopes that they won't think to use it is not only wrong, it's illegal. Your lawyers will tell you that you need to post public notifications about your workers' legal rights, insurance information, and resources in a place where all employees may see it. You also need to provide workers with claim forms within 24 hours of being notified of an accident or injury.
The workers compensation system functions best when both employers and employees are aware of their rights and responsibilities. If you have any remaining questions about your role as an employer, contact our knowledgeable business lawyers for guidance, advice, or legal counsel.