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What are the Different Types of Workers' Compensation Laws?

Article Details
  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Workers’ compensation laws dictate the behaviors of both employers and employees. For example, there is commonly legislation that determines which employers must provide coverage, how they must handle incidents, and how they must treat individuals attempting to access benefits. Workers’ compensation laws also generally outline the process that must be followed for successful claims and the amount of time that individuals may receive compensation.

Workers’ compensation laws can vary from one jurisdiction to another. One of the initial issues that this type of legislation usually addresses is whether employers are required to provide coverage. In some places it is mandatory, but in other places it is optional. When coverage is mandatory, there are usually some employers who are exempt from the requirement. Examples include employers with only a few employees and those who employ domestic workers.

There are usually two main goals that are meant to be achieved by workers’ compensation. First, it will provide care for people who suffer from injuries or illness caused by their jobs. Second, it will reduce the number of lawsuits that employees file against their employers. This second goal is achieved because workers’ compensation laws generally eliminate the option for individuals to sue their employers if those employers provide coverage through this program. There may be strict exceptions to this rule, such as those that make lawsuits permissible when the employer attempted to harm an employee.

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There are usually a number of laws that regulate how a person’s health care must be handled. These laws determine whether an employee gets to choose her own health care provider and the limits on her choices. Injured workers are usually granted the right to unlimited care regardless of time and costs. The legislation may also expressly prohibit the employer from deducting time from an individual’s accumulated leave for any periods used to seek care for work related injuries.

Workers’ compensation laws determine how eligible individuals will be compensated. In most cases, it is required that a person be paid a specified percentage of her average weekly earnings. The law usually imposes minimums and maximums on the amount that can be paid. It is also common for there to be restrictions on the amount of time that a person can receive compensation.

To obtain these benefits, there is normally a specific process that must be followed. Workers’ compensation laws generally involve time requirements for actions taken by both employers and employees. These laws also tend to deem it unlawful for employers to retaliate against individuals for filing claims or receiving benefits.

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