What Is the Purpose of Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law?

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The Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law protects employees who suffer injuries while on the job. This law sets forth protections and compensation for injured employees, which we’ll briefly explain below.

A Brief History

In 1913, the Minnesota legislature passed the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Statute. This law replaced a system where you could take your employer to court if you got injured at work. Before this new law, you had to prove that you had not been negligent or that your actions were not the cause of the injury to receive an approved claim.

Today, employers pay for workers’ compensation policies that protect their employees without bearing the total cost of medical visits and treatment. 

Workers’ compensation is effective even if the employee or employer’s negligence caused the injury. If you get hurt on the job, your workers’ compensation insurance helps to cover medical costs should you get sick or injured while on a work-related errand.

The Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law protects employees’ salaries in the following cases:

  • Occupational diseases
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Certain mental injuries

Who Provides Minnesota Workers’ Compensation?

The state of Minnesota does not directly provide employers with workers’ compensation insurance, so most employers need to self-insure or purchase workers’ compensation insurance themselves. They can do so directly through an insurance company or an insurance agent, specifically those that deal in commercial or business insurance.

An employer can also obtain insurance through assigned risk-plan coverage or risk-pool insurance in the voluntary market.

Employers can determine whether an insurance agent or insurance company is licensed to provide workers’ compensation insurance using a license lookup directory.

Is Workers’ Compensation Always Mandatory for Employees?

Under Minnesota law, workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory. Employers can receive fines for not providing their employees with injury compensation and being held liable for any injuries sustained on the job. Even if an injury does not ever occur, employees must always receive compensation insurance on their first day of work.

For example, an employer may need to pay a penalty of $1,000 to each employee for each week that they are insured. Until they purchase workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, bringing other employees on board may not be allowed.

If an employer receives a court order to provide workers’ compensation insurance, they must do so within ten days. They can contest the order, but the decision will go to a compensation judge after that. If the judge denies the employers’ contest, they may need to pay additional penalties, especially if other employees came on board during the pending case.

Even if your business only has one part-time employee, providing workers’ compensation insurance is still mandatory. You can educate your employees about their compensation insurance through special training and put up posters explaining the law where your employees can see them.

What Can the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law Cover?

The Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law can help cover costs in qualifying mental and physical injuries incurred in certain occupations. This law covers many different treatments, such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Hospital visits
  • Mobility aids
  • Mental health treatments
  • And more

It’s important to note that workers’ compensation law only covers injuries you suffer at work or because of work. That means that you won’t receive workers’ compensation if you get sick because of something outside of your work, if you get injured while intoxicated, or if you purposely hurt yourself on the job.

Who Is Exempt From the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law?

There are a few exceptions to the rules stated above. If a company only hires subcontractors to get work done, then workers’ compensation insurance might not be necessary, as the subcontractors aren’t official employees of the company. 

Other limited exceptions include business owners who are members of LLCs, sole proprietors, corporate workers, workers earning less than $1,000 in three months working in private homes, employees who are family members, or specific farming cases.

It’s always a good idea to talk to a professional lawyer about whether you will be eligible for workers’ compensation, especially for jobs with a high level of danger. If you’re injured in the job, you need experienced representation specializing in Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law, so contact Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law today.