Who Is Covered?
Virtually all employees must be covered by workers' compensation insurance. The only exceptions are the following types of workers:
• Farm laborers
• Household employees
• Casual workers
• Licensed real estate professionals
• Railroad workers
• Employees who are covered by federal law
• An officer of a corporation who is also an owner may choose to not be considered an employee for the purposes of worker’s compensation.
Any employer contracting with an independent contractor for the performance of work costing more than $1,000 must obtain a certificate of workers' compensation from the contractor, or be liable for all the workers' compensation expenses involved in a work injury. Employee leasing services and temporary agencies are required to carry workers' compensation coverage for their employees. A principal contractor is liable for the same obligations unless the contractor receives a compensation certificate from his or her subcontractor. What Is Covered?
"No-fault" system. Workers' compensation is a no-fault system. Unlike traditional legal mechanisms for compensating accident victims--which limit recovery to cases in which the victim's injuries result from some other person's negligence--workers' compensation laws allow employees to collect without regard to fault simply by showing that the injury arose "out of and in the course of employment." Compensation is guaranteed in such cases. It doesn't matter that the employee (or a co-worker) was partly at fault, nor does it matter that the employee knew the job was risky. "Contributory negligence," "assumption of risk," and other defenses normally used by defendants in accident cases do not apply to on-the-job injuries. In return for this guarantee of ...