3 Things Most Businesses Don’t Know about Workers’ Compensation

By Anna Kleiner | 08/22/2016

Workers’ compensation is a complex system. Knowing what’s covered—and what’s not—may seem more trouble than it’s worth; but as an employer it’s important to know what you’re required to do to protect your employees and your business. To help ensure business owners have a better understanding of what’s at risk and what to do, here are three things most employers may not know about workers’ compensation.

1. Workers’ compensation can cover injuries that don’t happen in the workplace.

While most know that injuries that happen at the workplace are covered by workers’ compensation, it also extends to time spent away from the workplace. Many workers receive compensation for injuries incurred while traveling on business, running a work-related errand, or attending a tradeshow or conference. Employees can also receive compensation for injuries or illnesses that happen over time or due to work conditions, like carpal tunnel syndrome, lung disease, and stress-related issues. 

2. Workers’ compensation doesn’t cover all on-the-job illnesses and injuries.

It’s true—not everything that happens in the workplace is covered by workers’ compensation. There are a variety of things that workers’ compensation may not cover, including injuries caused by: 

  • Alcohol or drugs
  • The employee to themselves
  • Fights started by the employee
  • Violations of company policy
  • Felonies 

3. Workers’ compensation doesn’t protect employers from every lawsuit.

Some employers think that workers’ compensation protects them from lawsuits no matter what caused the employee’s injury or illness. This isn’t the case. While workers’ compensation protects employers in most instances, there are still exceptions that allow employees to sue employers for compensation. For example, if an employee is injured because of the employer acting irresponsibly, the employee may be able to sue them for pain and suffering. 

The potential for lawsuit can increase if employers don’t offer the right workers’ compensation insurance, as well. Because of this, it’s important to make sure you and your employees are covered—and that you both know what to do when an injury occurs. 

Talk to one of our work health experts and learn more about how Concentra’s “best-in-class” occupational medicine program can help keep your business safe and healthy.


References

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/workers-compensation-basics-employers-30333.html

http://injury.findlaw.com/workers-compensation/workers-compensation-basics.html