West Virginia Workers' Compensation laws & safety compliance analysis

West Virginia Workers' Compensation: What you need to know

Who Is Covered?

Virtually all employers in West Virginia must provide workers' compensation insurance coverage for their employees. Employers are covered if they have at least one employee. Volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians are covered, as are members of rescue teams working at mine accidents. All public employees are covered (WV Stat. Sec. 23-2-1et seq.).

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A few categories of employment are specifically exempted from coverage:

• Domestic servants

• Church employees and employees of certain nonprofit corporations

• Professional athletes and employees of organizations who are engaged in professional sports, including thoroughbred trainers and jockeys

• Employees who usually work out-of-state

• Farmworkers, if the employer has five or fewer full-time employees

• Temporary casual employees who work no more than 10 days per calendar quarter for an employer with three or fewer employees

• Volunteer police and rescue squad workers and other volunteer government employees

• Independent contractors, as defined by state law

A partnership, sole proprietorship, association, or corporation may elect not to include as a covered “employee” any partner, sole proprietor, or corporate officer or member of the board of directors. A limited liability company may elect not to include up to four persons who are acting as a manager, officer, or member of the company.

What Is Covered?

No-fault system. Workers' compensation is a no-fault system. Employees receive compensation without having to prove that the employer was at fault for the injury. They need only show that the injury arose out of and in the course of employment. This no-fault aspect distinguishes workers' compensation from ordinary tort law, which provides for the ...


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