Why Does Workers' Compensation Exist? By Pothitakis Law

Workers’ compensation is a collection of laws under the United States Department of Labor that dictate minimum wage, overtime, on-the-job injury, leave for family and medical emergencies, etc. These laws are constantly being updated and added to. There are specific laws surrounding hazardous jobs, especially those jobs having to do with energy production. The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs administers four major disability compensation programs. These four programs are wage replacement benefits, which mean that if a doctor says an employee is unable to work due to a work-related injury, the company will pay at least part of that employee’s salary during the time that they are unable to work; medical treatment, which requires a company to have insurance for work-related hospitalization of an employee; and vocational rehabilitation, which enables a person to overcome any physical, psychological, or emotional conditions so they can access, maintain, or return to employment. There are also several other benefits specific to certain groups of people. These benefit programs are in place to provide compensation to federal workers or their dependents who are injured at work or acquire an occupational disease.  For more information about worker’s compensation, visit www.dol.gov.

Why Does it Exist?

The simple answer to this question is because although safety is of utmost concern to any company, accidents and other health issues cannot always be prevented. Therefore, a safety net for both employees and employers was created by the Department of Labor and the Workers’ compensation laws. These laws are meant to help companies keep their employees for as long as possible, as well as to help employees keep their jobs for as long as possible. They don’t force companies to pay for leave, but they do impose a minimum unpaid leave requirement before disciplinary action can be taken for absence. If a worker suffers an on-the-job injury, they are entitled to medical treatment at the company’s expense. The company is also responsible for any diseases acquired by their employees, even if they don’t manifest the disease until after they are no longer employed at that employer.

There are some occupations that quite frankly are more dangerous than most others and require specific laws regarding compensation for injuries or illnesses that are specific to that industry. Workers’ compensation also covers these groups. These groups include energy employees who have their own occupational illness program, federal employees who have their own compensation program, longshore and harbor workers who have their own workers’ compensation program, and the coal mine workers’ compensation, which provides medical treatment and compensation to coal miners who are totally disabled by pneumoconiosis or black lung.

Issues

The problems surrounding workers’ compensation are that the laws are difficult to enforce because they apply to virtually all employers. Some workers feel bullied out of filing for compensation, or they feel that the employer is not paying a fair amount, which can be easy for an employer to do. Employees often turn to legal advisers to make sure that they are being treated fairly and to make sure that they are filing their claims correctly. This ensures that they get the compensation they are entitled to and that they aren’t being bullied into submitting a claim for less than they deserve.

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