Workers have the right to know about the compensation they are entitled to receive when they get injured or disabled while at work. Employers have to brief them about it, but they may also inform themselves on their own.

What are some of the laws regarding workers' compensation?

· Federal Employment Compensation Act (FECA): Provisions in the act are compensation for non-military federal employees. Employees who obtained disability or died while performing their duties are entitled for compensation, as long as it was not intentionally caused by the employee or by intoxication. Under FECA, two thirds of the monthly salary and medical expenses will be awarded to the employee. He may also receive more if he has dependents and also provides survivor benefits in case of death.

  • Federal Employment Liability Act (FELA): Employees of railroads involved in interstate commerce are entitled to compensations if their employers have been negligent.
  • Merchant Marine Act (the Jones Act): Provides seamen almost the same compensation offered by FELA to railroad workers.
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA): Enacted by the Congress to give workers' compensation to certain employees of private maritime companies.
  • Black Lung Benefits Act: Miners are at risk of acquiring "black lung" or pneumonoconiosis. Mine operators have to give disability payments to miners who suffer from such.
  • California's Workers' Compensation Act: Each state has a particular law regarding workers' compensation. In CA, the California's Workers' Compensation Act limits the liability of the employer and employees and obliges employers to get insurance in case of a workers' compensation claim.

Are all employees covered by the workers' compensation?

It depends on the provisions of each state. Some states exempt casual or agricultural employees. There are states that require coverage only if the company has a minimum number of employees.

What injuries and illnesses are compensable under workers' compensation?

Illnesses and injuries that were obtained during the course of employment are to be compensated. For example, the injury caused by an accident met by the truck driver while shipping products to another city is compensable. But the injury caused by an accident met by the truck driver while he was commuting to work is not.

How much compensation is paid for an injury or illness?

Expenses that are associated with the injury or illness are all compensable. Some states also provide compensation for vocational rehabilitation. The benefit is usually 50 to 66 percent of the injured employee's regular salary, depending on the state's laws. Wage compensation starts on the day the employee is already unable to work.