Applicability of Laws for Workers’ Compensation in The U.S.
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Applicability of Laws for Workers’ Compensation in The U.S.
State and Federal Laws Related to Workers’ Compensation
All 50 states have now enacted laws relating to workers’ compensation, with each state either creating a worker’s compensation division or board under their state’s department of labour.
Foreign voluntary workers’ compensation insurance provides coverage for an employer with employees working outside of the United States.
Besides providing coverage to help pay for indemnity and medical benefits, most foreign voluntary workers’ compensation policies also provide coverage for repatriation expenses, such as helicopter evacuations, emergency medical flights, and/or travel costs for accompanying spouses and/or children. These policies also provide coverage for endemic diseases, and if not automatically excluded, for war, terrorism and kidnapping.
The Federal Employment Compensation Act provides workers’ compensation for non-military, federal employees. Many of its provisions are typical of most workers’ compensation laws. Awards are limited to “disability or death” sustained while in the performance of the employee’s duties but not caused wilfully by the employee or by intoxication. The act covers medical expenses due to the disability and may require the employee to undergo job retraining. A disabled employee receives two-thirds of his or her normal monthly salary during the disability and may receive more for permanent physical injuries or if he or she has dependents. The act provides compensation for survivors of employees who are killed. The act is administered by the United States Department of Labour.
The Federal Employment Liability Act (FELA), while not a workers’ compensation statute, provides that a railroad company engaged in interstate commerce is liable for injuries to their employees if the company has been negligent.
The Merchant Marine Act (the Jones Act) provides seamen with the same protection from employer negligence that FELA provides to railroad workers.
The Longshore and Harbour Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) to provide workers’ compensation to specified employees of private maritime employers. The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs administers the act.
The Defence Base Act is an extension to the LHWCA, and employees who qualify for benefits under the DBA include those who work at any military, air, or naval base, or upon any lands occupied or used by the United States for military or naval purposes outside of the continental United States.
The Black Lung Benefits Act provides compensation for miners suffering from “black lung” (pneumoconiosis). The Act requires liable mine operators to pay disability payments and establishes a fund administered by the Secretary of Labour providing disability payments to miners where the mine operator is unknown or unable to pay. The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs’ Division of Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation regulates the administration of the act.
Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations provides an example of a comprehensive state plan for workers’ compensation. It is applicable to most employers. The statute limits the liability of the employer and fellow employees. California also requires employers to obtain insurance to cover potential workers’ compensation claims and sets up a fund for claims that employers have illegally failed to insure against.
Within the United States, one state is given the “full faith and credit” of its laws, so that if a worker living in Louisiana is injured while on temporary assignment in Mississippi, Louisiana’s workers’ compensation laws can be applied and enforced.
A claim for workers’ compensation may be disputed by an employer. In that case, the Workers’ Compensation Board may be asked to resolve the dispute.
Disputes can arise over whether the employer is actually liable for an injury or illness.
Workers’ compensation payments are also susceptible to insurance fraud. An employee may falsely report that an injury was sustained on the job, exaggerate the severity of an injury, or invent an injury.
In fact, the National Insurance Crime Board asserts that there are “organized criminal conspiracies of crooked physicians, attorneys, and patients” who submit false claims to medical insurance companies for workers’ compensation and other benefits.5
Workers’ compensation is a form of employer insurance coverage that pays benefits to workers who are injured or become disabled as a result of their job.
By accepting workers’ compensation benefits, the employee waives the right to sue their employer for damages.
The compensation may include partial salary repayment and coverage of medical costs.
Workers’ comp is not the same as unemployment benefits or disability insurance.
Proprietary blog of Karma Global Tech Management LLC
This blog has been collated and compiled by the internal staff of Karma Global with the knowledge and expertise that they possess, besides adaptation, illustration, derivation, transformation, collection as well as auto generation from various sources, for its monthly newsletter Issue 13 of July 2023 and in case of specific or general information or compliance updates for that matter, kindly reach out to the Karma Global Team – firstname.lastname@example.org