One thing almost all businesses, whether large or small, have to prepare for is the possibility of a workers’ compensation claim being filed after an employee is injured while on the job. However, sometimes the law regarding workers compensation may not be completely clear to many business owners. With that in mind, below are four things you probably didn’t know about workers’ compensation.
1. Hearing Loss Is Covered
When people think of workers’ compensation claims, they usually think of dramatic accidents that occurred while on the job that resulted in injuries like broken limbs. However, some injuries incurred while on the job are far more subtle. If an employee is repeatedly exposed to loud noise on the job, this can result in hearing impairment. Loss of hearing is certainly covered under workers’ compensation laws and can result in an affected employee collecting benefits.
2. Independent Contractors Can Obtain Workers’ Compensation
Most people assume that independent contractors and freelancers cannot file workers’ compensation claims against an employer for work related injuries. While this is generally true, it is not always the case. For example, in some states, an independent contractor who performs work classified as manual labor may still be able to obtain workers’ compensation after an injury. You must also make sure employees that are categorized as independent contractors really do meet the criteria for that classification under the law.
3. Small Businesses Have to Provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Many business owners incorrectly assume that workers’ compensation only applies to huge multinational corporations. This couldn’t be further from the truth. According to Trammell & Mills Law Firm LLC, in most cases a company will have to provide workers’ compensation coverage if they employ four employees or more. As such, most small businesses certainly fall under this category.
4. Those That Receive Unemployment May Not Be Eligible for Workers’ Compensation
Many states have tried to enact rules to prevent people from gaming the system in regards to workers’ compensation benefits. In most cases, a person is not allowed to receive unemployment and workers’ comp simultaneously. Those on unemployment must usually forfeit their workers’ compensation benefits. This way out of work people are not supplied with income for a similar situation twice.
Overall, whether you are a business owner or an employee, you should be educated on the law regarding workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation can protect employees from the impact of workplace injuries. It can also shield employers from lawsuits. However, in either case, the law must be followed.