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 coverages 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.
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