Worker’s Compensation: Most Wisconsin Employers Must Offer Coverage
Wisconsin employers with three or more workers (full-time or part-time) must have Worker’s Compensation – also commonly referred to as “Workman’s Compensation,” “Work Comp,” “Workmens Comp,” “workers’ comp,” “Worker Compensation” and many other variations.
All Worker's Compensation insurance policies must provide coverage for lost compensation and medical expense.
Worker’s Compensation: Employer Responsibilities are Extensive
You have the right to select any physician for treatment, unless it’s an emergency. The employer must offer you this choice. Your employer can require you to take a reasonable medical examination to help review your claim. Remember you are not obligated to have treatment there. You can choose to go elsewhere. Your employer must also allow you to select a second choice. You must notify your employer or the insurer of this. Remember this is your right.
The employer pays for the insurance and may not withhold, collect payment, or deduct for premiums from any employee. Employee agreements to waive rights are not valid. A company cannot file false reports, unreasonably refuse to rehire an injured Wisconsin employee, pay employees more to put up with a safety violation, illegally employ a minor, or delay reports to hold off paying claims.
Worker’s Compensation: Employer Penalties are Severe
Penalties for not carrying Worker’s Compensation insurance are severe. Enforcement is aggressive. An uninsured employer is personally liable to repay the Uninsured Employers Fund for payments to an injured employee. Collection action can include warrants, garnishment, levies, and execution against property. Normal exemptions to property seizure do not apply.
If you experience a physical work injury, your employer must report your claim to the insurance company within 7 days. This is for your protection, assuring you of medical care which is quicker and potentially more effective. For all Worker’s Compensation claims, the State requires Physician's medical reports as well as all final payment reports.
Worker’s Compensation: Employers Must Provide Standard Benefits
The following benefits must always be payable under Wisconsin laws governing Worker's Compensation:
- All medical costs which are reasonable and necessary.
- Lost-time benefits for wage loss during recovery.
- Benefits for permanent disability if needed, depending on the severity.
- Job placement or retraining.
- Limited death benefits and burial costs.
Wisconsin worker’s compensation laws are specific and strong. However, they are firmly based in sound employment practices, protecting your rights as an employee when you have a work-related injury or illness.