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The importance of workers’ compensation

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Every workplace is often prone to accidents despite the fact that everyone does his or her best effort to avoid them. This is why we have a workers’ compensation to protect employees from financial hardships that might arise from injuries or diseases incurred at the workplace. Workers’ compensation, also known as workers’ comp, can be defined as a type of insurance that offers medical benefits as well as wage replacement for an employee who sustains an injury, or suffers an occupational disease, while at the workplace. It is usually provided in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of an employee’s right to sue the employer on grounds of negligence.

Laws regarding the issue of workers’ compensation differ from one state to another. One thing these laws have in common is that they are all strict liability whereby negligence by the employer is not considered for benefits to be paid and neither is the employer liable to punitive damages. In all states workers’ compensation involves benefits paid to the employee due to injury or sickness incurred during the course of employment. It excludes remedies given to the employee for injuries or illnesses incurred outside the workplace or out of the course of his or her employment. It is normally a requirement for every employee in almost every state. However, there are some exemptions such as in small companies with a small staff, for domestic workers and farm hands.

In most states it is illegal for an employer to sack or refuse to hire a person due to an injury incurred in the workplace or due to the employee filing a workers’ compensation claim. It is nevertheless difficult to prove discrimination on these grounds. This is why some states have established a subsequent injury fund to reimburse employers for benefits paid to workers who file for compensation for workplace injuries.

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