Overview: Workers' compensation is a state-controlled no-fault insurance system designed to compensate employees injured on the job and provide them with medical benefits and return-to-work initiatives, while also protecting employers from costly litigation. In most states, employers have the ability to purchase private insurance plans to guard against their workers' compensation exposure, self-insure against their exposure, or pool their resources with other employers in similar industries.
Given the detailed regulations in each state, together with the risks of exposure if employers violate state law provisions or contractual obligations with their insurance carriers, it is imperative that employers develop and maintain a robust and thorough workers' compensation policy structure. HR professionals and HR specialists have a key role in setting standards for receiving employee claims of injuries or illness on the job, corresponding with insurance carriers regarding claims, arguing against the validity of claims where applicable, corresponding with employees who are out on workers' compensation leave and working with in-house or external counsel when claims are disputed.
Trends: Some states are imposing more restrictive limitations on the types of injuries that are eligible for compensation, together with increased filing requirements and added pre-claim warnings for employers. The trend is to streamline the claims system while also reducing employers' exposure to claims and the cost of obtaining workers' compensation insurance.
Michigan, for example, passed sweeping legislation at the end of 2011 that restricts employee recovery eligibility while also imposing additional filing requirements on employees. Ohio has a pre-claim warning system that requires employees who plan to file claims for retaliation based on workers' compensation claims to notify employees in advance. California's new workers' compensation bill, set to take effect on January 1, 2013, will cut insurance costs tremendously by eliminating certain conditions from its list of compensable injuries and otherwise streamlining the claims process.
Author: Michael Jacobson, JD, Legal Editor
In-depth review of the spectrum of Missouri employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to workers' compensation.
As mandated by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, employers are required to post the Ohio Rebuttable Presumption Notice.
As mandated by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, certain employers must post the Workers' Compensation Fund poster.
As mandated by the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission, employers should post the South Carolina Workers Comp Works For You Poster.
As mandated by the North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance, employers subject to the North Dakota Workers' Compensation Law must post the North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance Important Notice to Workers poster.
As mandated by the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Court, every employer covered by the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Act must post the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Notice and Instruction to Employers and Employees poster.
As mandated by the Workers' Compensation Division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, all employers that are required to provide workers' compensation information or benefits must post the Oregon Workers' Compensation Notice of Compliance poster.
As mandated by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, every employer covered by the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Act must post the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Law poster.
As mandated by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, all employers subject to the Workers' Compensation Act must post the Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Act poster.
As mandated by the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, every employer covered by the South Dakota Workers' Compensation Act must post a poster encouraging workplace safety.
Guidance for HR on managing and complying with state workers’ compensation requirements.