Workers' Compensation and Employers' Liability by chenmeixiu

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									Workers’ Compensation and Employers’
             Liability

Who is an Employer?
Employer Liability Under Common Law
State WC Laws
  Common Features
  Types of Injuries
  Illinois WC Benefits
Federal Compensation Laws
          Who is an employer?
Characteristics of employers
  Engages the services of individual
  Fixes hours
  Provides tools
  Defines methods and means
Employer versus independent contractor
Proprietors and partners are not employees
   Employer Liability Under Common Law
Employer’s Duty of Care
 Provide a safe place to work
 Provide an adequate number of competent fellow
 employees
 Provide safe tools and equipment
 Warn the employee of inherent dangers
 Make and enforce rules for the safety of all employees
Common-Law Defenses
 Assumption of risk
 Contributory negligence
 Negligence of fellow employee
State Workers’ Compensation Laws
Originally held unconstitutional
  Maryland 1902 - unconstitutional
  Federal law 1908 - provided new benefits
  New York 1910 - unconstitutional
  Wisconsin 1911 - upheld
  New York 1913 - upheld
Principles of WC Laws
  Prompt payment of determinable benefits
  Elimination of delays and reduced costs
  Guarantee of benefit payments through insurance
  Promotion of safety
 Common Features of Compensation Laws
Choice of Law
 Employee chooses which benefits to receive if more
 than one state law applies:
     State where injury occurred
     Location of usual employment
     Where employee was hired
Persons and Employments Covered
 Covers employees and not independent contractors
 Exception - must cover employees of uninsured
 independent contractors
Common Features of Compensation Laws
Description of Injuries and Diseases Covered
  Injury must be caused by accident arising out of
  and in the course of employment
  Disease must be covered by the statute as one that
  normally results from the nature of the
  employment and exposure to the disease must
  arise from employment
  Common Features of Compensation Laws
Benefits Provided
 Indemnity payments for time lost from work
     60-75% of wages
     Tax free
     Maximum set by state
 Payment for medical services
     Unlimited
     No deductibles or coinsurance
 Rehabilitation services
 Death benefits
Common Features of Compensation Laws
Methods of Financing Benefits
  Private insurance
  Insurance through assigned risk plans
  Insurance through state funds
  Qualified “self-insurance” plans
  Excess insurance
Procedure for Obtaining Benefits
  Notification requirements
Administration
  Courts
  Special commission
              Third-Party Claims
Applies when employee eligible for WC benefits
was injured by the tort of a third party
Employee has three choices:
1 Sue the third party
     Can file for WC benefits if unsuccessful
2 Accept WC benefit
     Employer is subrogated to rights of employee
     against third party to extent of WC benefits
3 Accept WC benefit and sue third party
     Employer has lien on proceeds of recovery to extent
     of WC benefits
Types of Injuries Covered by Workers’
            Compensation
•   Fatal Injury
•   Permanent Total Disability
•   Permanent Partial Disability
•   Temporary Total Disability
•   Medical Only
            Illinois WC Benefits
State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) = $747.48
Average Weekly Wage (AWW) =
   (Earnings over last year- Overtime)/52
Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)
Survivors’ Benefits
   Burial Benefit: $4,200
   66 2/3% of AWW w/ COLA
   Min Weekly Benefit: Lesser of $373.74 or AWW
   Max Weekly Benefit: $996.64
   Max Lifetime: Greater of $250,000 or 20yrs
   Remarriage “Award”: 2yrs Lump Sum w/o children
      Illinois WC Benefits (continued)
Permanent Total Disability
  66 2/3% of AWW w/ COLA
  Min Weekly Benefit: Lesser of $373.74 or AWW
  Max Weekly Benefit: $996.64
  Max Lifetime: Unlimited
Temporary Total Disability
   66 2/3% of AWW
  3 Workday waiting period/14 day retroactive period
  Min Weekly Benefit: Lesser of $113.40* or AWW
  Max Weekly Benefit: $996.64
*Assumes Married, 2 children
       Illinois WC Benefits (continued)
Permanent Partial Disability
  60% of AWW
  Min Weekly Benefit: Lesser of $88.90* or AWW
  Max Weekly Benefit: $541.23 or $996.64**
  Duration:
      Non-Schedule: % of disability * 500 wks
      Schedule: Thumb              70 wks
                Hand               190 wks
                Foot               155 wks
                Leg                200 wks
               Hearing Both Ears 200 wks

*Assumes Married, 2 children
**$996.64 paid if amputation or enucleation occurs
    Illinois WC Benefits: Example

An employee is injured at work while
performing his job duties. His medical bills
are $400. His average weekly wage is $1,540.
He is totally disabled for 13 calendar days (9
workdays).

Assuming the injury is covered by the
workers’ compensation law, how much will
paid in benefits?
    Illinois WC Benefits: Example
Injury is a Temporary Total Disability
66 2/3% of his AWW = $1,026.67
Max benefit for TTD = $996.64
He will receive benefits for 6 workdays (9 workdays
  minus 3 day waiting period.
1.2 weeks * $996.64/week = $1,195.68
$400 for medical expenses
TOTAL: $1,595.68
      Federal Compensation Laws
Federal Employers’ Liability Act (1908)
  Applies to employees of interstate railroads
  Eliminates traditional employer defenses in suits
  by employees
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
  Provides more generous WC benefits to maritime
  workers (loading, repairing, building vessels)
Jones Act (1920)
  Extends FELA to crew members
Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker
  Protection Act

								
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