If you are injured in the job while working in Massachusetts, one of the options should be to seek workers’ compensation from your employer. This compensation is there to cover your medical costs as well as other needs, such as vocational rehabilitation or lost wages.
If your employer is not exempt from the law, then they should maintain workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, all employers in Massachusetts are required to have workers’ compensation insurance for themselves and their employees.
Are there workers’ compensation requirement exemptions?
The primary exception is for domestic employees. For these individuals, they must work at least 16 hours each week to be covered by a policy. There is another exemption for the members of limited liability companies, sole proprietors and partners of limited liability partnerships. In their cases, the owners or partners are not required to have workers’ compensation insurance for themselves but should have it for their employees.
If I work for an out-of-state employer, should I still receive coverage?
Even if the workers’ compensation laws are different outside Massachusetts, you should still be able to get workers’ compensation insurance coverage if you’re hurt while working for that out-of-state employer within Massachusetts. The companies may not be required to have insurance for workers outside of Massachusetts, but all workers within the Commonwealth should have access to workers’ compensation through the employer.
What happens if an employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation?
If they are required to have workers’ compensation and do not, then the Department of Industrial Accidents’ Office of Investigations will get involved and issue a stop work order to all employees who are not covered. The employer will also be fined at a rate of $100 per day until the workers’ compensation insurance is provided. Criminal charges are also a possibility.
On top of that, if a worker is injured, they may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the employer to collect compensation. This is because there is no workers’ compensation to collect from, which means that the employer could be open to liability for any injuries that occur on the job.