Workers’ Compensation In Minnesota

Workers’ compensation benefits are laws that are dedicated to providing money and medical benefits to an employee who has an injury as a result of an accident, injury or occupational disease incurred at work. The laws are specifically designed to protect workers and their dependents against the hardships from injury or death arising out of the work environment. The Worker’s Compensation laws benefit both the employee and employer. The employee receives money and medical benefits in exchange for forfeiting the common law right to sue the employer. By contrast, the employer benefits by receiving immunity from court actions against them by the employee in exchange for accepting liability that is limited and determined.

All employers are required by Minnesota Statutes, section 176.181, subdivision 2, to either purchase workers’ compensation insurance to provide benefits to their employees for work-related injuries or to obtain approval from the Minnesota Department of Commerce permitting self-insurance upon proof of the employer’s financial ability to do so. Employers can be self insured. However, in most instances, employers purchase workers’ compensation policies from insurance companies. Benefits that are paid may include compensation to injured workers for wage-loss and permanent loss of use of body functions, medical and vocational rehabilitation costs, and out of pocket medical expenses such as mileage and prescriptions.

This issue comes up quite often in the context of construction law and in the IT industry where employees are contracted out to third party employers. Individuals who are independent contractors with no employees are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance unless the entity contracting with the independent contractor elects to purchase insurance for that individual or the independent contractor chooses to purchase coverage for him or herself. The workers’ compensation statute does not contain a definition of andquot;independent contractor.andquot.

When a question arises as to whether a particular relationship is that of employer-employee or that of two entities contracting independently, a five-factor test has developed through case law that generally allows an employer or employee to make some judgments concerning the appropriate characterization. The degree of control one party has the right to exert over another has become the primary factor to consider. One party’s right to control over another’s job duties is an indication that the first is an employer. Save copies of all worker’s compensation claim-related documents, letters, forms, benefit checks and medical bills, especially the First Report of Injury form. Keep track of your mileage and parking fees for medical visits, vocational rehabilitation services and job-search visits.

Sybe recognizes and supports the following organizations:
Vocational rehabilitation services
Medical and vocational rehabilitation
Medical expenses

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