What Is Workers Compensation & When Do You Qualify For It
Life is all about milestones. We enter different phases of life as we grow older; each one demanding a different version of us every time. In other words, we constantly upgrade. Who we were yesterday may not be the same person we are today and so on and so forth. But the thing is, just when you think you’ve overcome one milestone, another soon follows. Life simply works that way. It’s a never-ending chain of things to overcome and phases to pass. Take your career as an example.
We spend a good 20 years of our life studying. We study and study until finally, we get to graduate. Now, those 20 years seem like a whole pain to deal with. The climb is steep and it can really wear you out. This is why when you near graduation, it would feel like you’re finally done with responsibilities and deadlines. Turns out, your cavalry is far from over. It has simply changed shape.
You enter the workforce – as any other graduate would.
What It Means To Be Part Of The Labor Force
Life after school isn’t as easy and abundant as you think. When we’re not earning, we keep looking up to adults thinking how awesome it would be to live their life – to be paid for your sacrifices for once. What most young people don’t realize is that the reality of work is far from what they dream about. It’s much harder, harsher, and limited. There is pay but it’s not the kind of money you can buy luxury cars with.
There’s also back-breaking labor, overtime hours, excessive job descriptions and haughty bosses to deal with. I tell you, it’s not the kind of situation that you would often daydream about.
Also, let’s talk about risks.
A significant amount of risk comes with being employed – yes, even if you’re working a white collar job. Most of you might think that working an admin or clerical position is the safest job in the world. But you see, there exists no such thing. All jobs pose a significant amount of risk to one’s well-being and I don’t just mean physical injuries.
Even with a white collar job, you still expose yourself to a number of dangerous situations on a daily basis. For example, the commute to work. Going back and forth your home and workplace is not only time-consuming; it can also threaten your safety. Out on the streets, you’re exposing yourself to numerous vulnerabilities: rushing cars, questionable personalities, road accidents, etc. Accidents happen everyday and you’ll never know when it’ll hit you.
Aside from the external environment, significant health risks are also present inside the office. If you work for a big company, chances are that you’re going to work in the same environment with a lot of people. If even just one of them contracts a dangerous virus or a contagious disease, you are at risk of getting infected. There’s also the issue of workplace accidents such as unintentional staircase slips and floor accidents. These are just a few of the many physical dangers you expose yourself to on a daily basis – and these are just for white-collar employees, mind you.
Blue collar employees, on the other hand, have it harder. They specialize in manual labor, you see. This means that they have to do the dirty and dangerous work themselves. Examples of blue-collar employees are those that work in construction sites, power plants, lumber yards, etc. These workers expose themselves to grave danger everyday. One misstep and it can cost them a limb or a life. But hey, these people do us a great favour. Without them, society wouldn’t be as smooth-sailing as it is. Kudos to our blue-collar employees!
However, you’re probably thinking what happens post-accident.
Is the company liable for any and all injuries suffered because of the accident?
How do national and state laws protect the rights of these workers?
Is there any type of aid given to these unfortunate employees?
Well, the answer you’re looking for lies in the Workers Compensation Act.
What Is The Workers Compensation Act?
The Workers Compensation Act is a stipulation in the labor code that deals with the rights of employees to just compensation for any and all personal injuries acquired in workplace premises. Furthermore, the laws provide afflicted employees with monetary support for all the time they’re unable to work. This is to compensate for the loss of wages and medical requirements (e.g. check-ups, prescription medicine, rehabilitation, therapies, etc. that resulted from the accident. However, please take note that only employees of companies who actively pay workers compensation insurance may benefit from such lawful stipulations. This means that if your company has been evading or refusing to pay workers compensation dues.
Are All Companies Required To Pay Workers Compensation Insurance?
Yes, all companies who work with the law are required to pay such fees. There are a few exceptions though:
- Companies with less than 5 employees are not lawfully required to pay workers compensation insurance.
- Independent contractors or outsourced employees may not qualify for a workers compensation claim.
Also, as a general rule, all construction companies are required to pay workers comp insurance regardless whether they just have one or two employees working full-time, part-time, temporary, or seasonal. This is largely due to the fact that construction companies belong to a high-risk industry and so necessary precautions must always be put in place.
Anyway, work isn’t all fun and games. It’s not always about the pay either. There is so much more to deal with when you become a member of the labor force. It’s a good thing we have the Workers Compensation Act to secure our means of living though. Work hard but safety first – always.