Each year, more than 150 thousand workers within the United States suffer workplace injuries and must seek out medical treatment as a result. Worker’s compensation laws are an essential part of employee coverage and ensure all injured employees receive wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and other benefits when injured at their place of employment. Naomi Soldon of Soldon McCoy, the nationally recognized Union Labor Law Firm, hopes to inform American workers on the importance of understanding their state’s worker’s compensation coverage. Below, employment and labor law attorney Naomi Soldon will answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation.
Who is Covered by Worker’s Compensation?
Within the state of Wisconsin, all employees working for an employer with three or more workers are covered by the Worker’s Compensation Act. Employees of businesses with fewer than three workers are only included if the employer pays more than 500 dollars in wages during any calendar year quarter. Wisconsin public and private employees are covered under the act, including minors, corporate officers, and part-time employees.
Works that are covered by federal laws and not the Worker’s Compensation Act include:
– Employees of the federal government
– Employees of the interstate railroads
– Seamen who work on navigable waters and those who load and unload vessels
Employees not covered by the Workers Compensation Act include:
– Domestic servants
– Any person whose employment is not in the trade, business, profession, or occupation of the employer
– Religious sect members
– Employees of Native American tribal enterprises
What Injuries Are Covered By Worker’s Compensation?
Wisconsin’s Worker’s Compensation Act define an injury as “any mental or physical harm caused by workplace accidents or diseases, including accidental damage to artificial limbs, dental appliances, and teeth.” Some examples of the many injuries that are covered include:
Physical harm – Fractures, burns, cuts, bruises, hernias, sprains, stiffness, amputation, crushing injuries, sudden loss of hearing or vision, disfigurement, loss or paralysis of part of the body.
Mental harm – traumatic neurosis, nervous disorders, hysteria, and brain hemorrhage.
Accidental Injury- Physical or traumatic mental harm caused suddenly and unexpectedly due to an employment-related activity.
Occupational disease – chronic physical or mental harm caused by long-term exposure to an employment related substance, condition, or activity.
Does Worker’s Compensation Cover Medical Expenses?
Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation states that any employee who is injured at work or suffers from an occupational disease is entitled to all medical, surgical, and hospital treatments relating to the injury to be covered. This includes doctor bills, hospital bills, medical and surgical supplies, medicines, crutches, and artificial limbs, training in the use of artificial limbs, and lost time and travel expenses for medical treatments and examinations.