The induction of the Workman’s Compensation Act in 1912 helped those who suffered from an injury received while working but the question remains, who is covered? If you are an injured worker who resides in or close to the Grand Rapids area, a Grand Rapids Worker’s Compensation Lawyer is just around the corner.
Most employees are covered by worker’s compensation in the state of Michigan. Public and private employees are covered. It is easier however to discuss the exceptions when talking of worker’s compensation. There are a few groups of workers that are covered by federal laws but are not covered by the Worker’s Disability Compensation Act of Michigan. Workers such as postal workers, veteran’s administration hospital employees and members of the armed forces as well as other government employees, are covered by federal laws. For example, those who work on the interstate railroads are covered by the Federal Employers Liability Act. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 covers seaman on navigable waters while the Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act covers those who unload and loading sailing vessels. Practically all other workers and employers are subject to Michigan’s Law. A Grand Rapids Worker’s Compensation Lawyer can help you to determine which law you are covered under as an employee or employer.
Certain extremely small employers are exempt from Michigan’s Law; however if a private employer has three or more employees at any one time or employs any worker for at least 35 hours weekly for a minimum of 13 weeks, this employer is bound by the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act of Michigan. Farmers and farm workers are exempt under certain circumstances however; a farm employee may choose to cover those that are employed by him or her. Those that are a sole proprietorship, meaning a self-employed business of one person is exempt; however if a business is a partnership or a corporation, then it is not exempt and must follow the act. As you can see, many facets of the act are confusing. It is always best in the case of a possible worker’s compensation injury to obtain legal counsel from Grand Rapids Worker’s Compensation Lawyer as their specialty is worker’s compensation claims and thus they are more knowledgeable in the area of worker’s compensation.
The law requires that every employer provide some way of assuring that the employer can pay benefits to its workers in the event of a work-related injury. The policy can be purchased from a private insurance company and that company then reports the employer’s compliance. If an employer fails to provide insurance for worker’s compensation coverage, there are penalties that the employer can incur which include:
- An injured worker can elect to file a suit for civil damages
- A court order can be obtained so that the employer is not allowed to have employees working for him until the proper coverage is obtained
- Fines and imprisonment
Incidental, for each day that an employer does not provide worker’s compensation insurance, it is considered a separate offense. For example, if the employer does not get the proper insurance for 30 days, that is 30 separate offenses.
Matters concerning worker’s compensation are oftentimes confusing. If you find yourself in a worker’s compensation situation in Michigan, please consider using a Grand Rapids Worker’s Compensation attorney.