Colorado Workers' Compensation laws & HR compliance analysis

Colorado Workers' Compensation: What you need to know

Virtually all employees must be covered by workers' compensation insurance. The only exceptions are the following types of workers:
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• Casual employees who earn less than $2,000 per year
• Domestic or maintenance workers in a homeowner's private employ
• Inmates of correctional facilities
• Volunteer ski lift operators
• Railroad workers
• Independent real estate sales personnel paid solely by commission
• Independent contractors
• Employers and employees covered by federal law
• Employees of religious and charitable organizations who earn less than $750 per year
Corporate officers and members of limited liability corporations who own at least 10 percent of membership interest may decide whether they wish to be covered. State and local governments may elect whether to cover uncompensated appointed and elected officials.
Workers' compensation is a “no-fault” system. Since it makes no difference who is to blame for the injury, employees do not have to prove that the employer's negligence caused it. To be compensable under workers' compensation, the injury need only be sustained in the course of employment. Injured workers do not have to show that the employer was negligent, but only that they were at work when injured. It doesn't matter that they (or a coworker) were partly at fault nor that they knew the job was risky. “Contributory negligence,” “assumption of risk,” and other defenses normally used by defendants in an accident case do not apply to on-the-job injuries.
What is an “injury”? The term “injury” has a specialized meaning in the workers' compensation statute. While most people think of an injury as the result of a specific event or incident (such as an accident), workers' compensation ...

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