Michigan Workers' Compensation laws & safety compliance analysis

Michigan Workers' Compensation: What you need to know

Who Is Covered?

Virtually all employees must be covered by the Workers' Disability Compensation Act insurance (MI Comp. Laws Sec. 418.101et seq.). Private employers are covered if they have three or more employees, or at least one employee who has been employed by that employer for 35 or more hours per week for one quarter in the calendar year. All public employers are covered. A private employer not automatically covered can choose to participate in the system by obtaining insurance. The following types of employees are excluded:

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• Professional athletes employed by out-of-state employers

• Domestic employees, unless they work more than 35 hours a week for 13 weeks a year

• Real estate salespersons

Employers may elect to cover employees for whom coverage is not required.

What Is Covered?

"No-fault" system. Workers' compensation is a no-fault system. Unlike traditional legal mechanisms for compensating accident victims--that 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 coworker) 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 compensation, employees give up the right to sue the employer for damages, thus effectively limiting the employer's liability for workplace injuries.

What Is an 'Injury'?

The term "injury" has a ...


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