When Was Workers’ Compensation Established in the US?

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The workers’ compensation program in America was designed to provide assistance for employees that have sustained a workplace injury. By having medical costs covered through either the employer of its insurance company, the financial aspect of recovery can be shifted away from the injured employee and therefore he or she can focus on recovery. While workers’ compensation may seem to be a recently established program, it has actually been in effect in the US for over 100 years.

The first State to implement a law concerning workers’ compensation was Wisconsin, passing its first law on the subject in 1911. Shortly thereafter, Massachusetts passed its own workers’ compensation law in the summer of that same year. By the end of the decade, 36 other States had followed suit, setting the precedent for workers’ compensation law and regulation to be maintained at the state level, rather than at the federal one.

Early laws primarily dealt with injuries that were sustained directly by work-related causes. It wasn’t until 1944 that the laws began to expand to include other workplace incidents. Today, the workers’ compensation program fully includes all injuries that occur in the workplace or on the clock, regardless of where they are sustained or how. This was, and still is, a major win for employees’ rights and is what allows people today to collect benefits when they are unable to work due to a workplace injury.

As long as workers’ compensation has existed in America, lawyers have been able to help injured employees fight for this right. Unfortunately, many employers and insurance companies try to deny this to their workers and this creates grounds for a lawsuit to win compensation. We at the Franco Firm have also spent many years helping others win their workers’ compensation cases and we would be honored to help you do the same. To schedule a free consultation with us today, please call (813) 872-0929.

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