In the state of Mississippi, the government can’t stress to its human resource folks that one of the most essential parts of the whole workers’ comp process is the first report of injury. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily fall on the employers like you to make that very first report of loss. That’s up to the employee in Mississippi, as it is in most states.
But it can be up to the employer and their human resource staff to keep their employees all informed about what needs to be done when the employee gets hurt on the job. That’s where workers’ comp information sheets come in handy, whether you’re handing those out when your employees first join your team or regularly to established employees in their paycheck envelopes.
Another obvious way to pass on the word about workers’ comp and injury reporting is to post the workers’ comp poster with all of your other state and federal employment law compliance posters for Mississippi.
What should employees learn from all of these references. Well, first and foremost, they need to know that it’s up to them to report an injury to you the employer right away. That way, you can make a report of the injury for your insurance company and for Mississippi’s Workers’ Compensation Commission.
The employee in fact has 30 days to mention the injury to their employer. After that report of injury, there is what is called a two year statute of limitations. If you and your insurance company don’t pay the employee benefits within those 2 years, then the claim is closed. That gives insurance companies time to investigate claims. And it helps to prevent cases of fraud. Say an employee gets hurt in December of 2006, but doesn’t decide until December of 2008 that they are injured by the accident and can’t work anymore?
In Mississippi, the whole workers’ comp system as we know it today there started in 1948. Then, the state set up a Workers’ Compensation Law and a Workers’ Compensation Commission to make sure that the law was carried out. Basically, as in most states where a workers’ comp program was established, the intent was to provide benefits to people who were injured on the job.
The system that developed in Mississippi is a no fault workers’ comp system. We’ve seen such things elsewhere. The basic premise is that no matter how the workers’ injury or illness occurred, as long as it occurred at work, then the workers’ comp insurance must pick it up. And under the law, any employer that is mandated by the law to have the workers’ comp coverage must do so by buying the insurance from a carrier, or by getting permission to do the self-insurance thing.
As with most states, there is a unique way that Mississippi covers certain employees under its workers’ comp law, while other employees do not have to be covered by the protection. For instance, all employers with five or more employees that are considered regular workers at an establishment must have the workers’ comp protection. Whereas, if an employer has less than five employees, they can voluntarily provide the coverage to those employees, but they don’t have to.
There are also certain types of employees who don’t have to have coverage no matter what. Take domestic and farm workers, for instance. They don’t have to be covered, nor do employees of certain non profits organizations, charities, religious groups, and cultural groups. Federal employees are not covered by the Mississippi law, and those transportation and maritime employees covered by federal compensation law don’t have to be covered by Mississippi law either.
Worker’s Compensation insurance, sometimes called workmen’s comp, is required of all employers in Mississippi who have 5 or more employees. There are a few exceptions. For example, agricultural employers are exempt, but they can participate voluntarily if they want to. Worker’s compensation money is paid out to someone who is sick or injured on the job.
Employers who establish a -free workplace are eligible for a 5 percent reduction in worker’s comp premiums. Employers who want to do so have to maintain a written -free policy and must comply with substance abuse testing.
I am sure most people realize the value of worker’s compensation laws. They were created to be sure that employees who become injured on the job receive some kind of fixed monetary sum, so that they don’t have to go to litigation to get compensation. Employees are able to get medical care and cash disability benefits. In exchange for those benefits, the worker is not able to sue the employer for damages.
It is my understanding that the laws also were put into place so that if workers are killed due to work-related s or illnesses, their dependents will receive benefits.
Mississippi law states that if a person is intoxicated and that intoxication causes the injury, there will be no worker’s compensation. Aside from that, if a person is injured while performing the duties of his job, he is eligible for worker’s compensation.
Benefits cannot exceed more than two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly pay. They also cannot continue more than 450 weeks. Worker’s Compensation benefits are tax free. If you have social security benefits, they may be affected by your worker’s compensation. Also if you get worker’s compensation and social security benefits both, the total amount of benefits that you receive cannot exceed 80 percent of your average weekly check before you became disabled.
The Mississippi Complete Labor Law poster details all of the most current laws regarding worker’s compensation as well as all the other state and federal requirements.