Workers' compensation first started in Germany in the 1800's. A need was seen to take care of injured workers so they did not suffer physically or financially from injuries resulting from working for a company. Workers' compensation became common in the US in the 1930's and 1940's. It continues today in all 50 states and in territories.
Workers' compensation is similar in Canada. Workers' compensation is basically the same and a change in benefits in a particular state may result in similar changes in other states. When workers' compensation was first proposed, a compromise was reached between businesses and the worker. In order to encourage businesses to accept full responsibility for the premium costs of workers' compensation, the workers gave up the right to sue the employer for damages resulting from a job related injury. This "doctrine" continues basically intact to this day. Rather than a benefit, workers' compensation is a legally mandated right of the worker. Businesses who meet certain requirements must provide workers' compensation for all employees of the business. There are fines and other forms of punishment for businesses (and owners) who have not provided coverage as required by law. Workers' compensation is purchased from several possible sources: Private companies, State Funds, Insurance Pools, Self Insurance Programs. Workers' compensation laws and regulations are made by each state and are regulated by state officials.
Workers' compensation by itself loses money for most carriers, so some carriers may require a business to purchase other coverage in addition to workers' compensation before voluntary workers' compensation coverage is offered by the carrier.
Some states require a notice to be posted in the workplace to advise workers of coverage for job related injuries. The posting is similar to other displays required by the Federal Government relating to wage and hour benefits. The notice usually explains what the basic benefits of workers' compensation are for that particular state. The posting also explains who to contact for information. Businesses should check with the regulatory officials to determine if a workers' compensation poster is required. Failure to post any required information may result in a fine for the business.
Source: The Lectric Law Library. www.lectlaw.com
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