Iowa Workers' Compensation laws & safety compliance analysis

Iowa Workers' Compensation: What you need to know

Who Is Covered?

Under Iowa's workers' compensation law (IA Code Sec. 85.1et seq.) virtually all employees must be covered by workers' compensation insurance. The only exceptions are the following types of workers:

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• Domestic and casual employees who earn less than $1,500 from their employer during the 12 consecutive months before the injury

• Agricultural employees whose employer has a payroll of less than $2,500 in the calendar year preceding the injury

• Sole proprietors in the field of agriculture, officers of family farm corporations, and close relatives of such proprietors and officers

• Police officers and firefighters who are entitled to benefits under a pension fund established under state law

• The top four officers of any corporation (other than a family farm), but only if they elect to waive coverage by completing a prescribed form

• Employees with physical defects that increase the risk of injury, but only if they agree to waive coverage for injuries caused by the defect and only with the approval of the state industrial commissioner

Employers may elect to provide coverage for workers in any of the exempt categories by purchasing a valid workers' compensation policy covering them. A partner in a limited liability company may elect coverage.

What Is Covered?

Workers' compensation is a "no-fault" system. Since it makes no difference who was at fault for an accident or 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 accidental and sustained in the course of employment. However, there are a few key exceptions:

Willful acts of the employee. There is no compensation for injuries caused by the worker's willful intent to ...


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