My loyal readers, we come to yet another state, and yet the same main message comes out of what we will learn. And what is that main message? That message is that it is just as important to make sure your employees know about their responsibilities when it comes to injury reporting for workers’ comp cases, as it is for you to know your stuff.
Employees in the state of Wisconsin must know to report an injury to you the employer as soon as possible after it happens, no matter if that injury is a near death experience for them, or a minor bump on the knee or a bruise on their arm. Employees have up to two years to report an accident related to work to you, so the rush is not necessarily on when it comes to injury reporting in Wisconsin.
Still, if employees don’t let you know within that two year time frame, then they may become ineligible to receive any benefits whether they be for medical care or for lost wages due to a disability that keeps them out of work. More importantly, the sooner they get the notice of injury to you, the sooner they may start to receive those benefits and their paychecks.
When it comes to illnesses related to work by the way, your employee do not have a time limit under Wisconsin law by which they must report their illness. Because some work related illnesses can take years to show signs and symptoms, the state of Wisconsin has left this window open. Say, for instance, that your workers are exposed by accident to a toxic chemical during work, and five years later they develop some sort of disease because of this exposure. They can still get benefits for this illness five years later as long as they report the illness to you.
Wisconsin employers, put your beer and pretzels down. You should read closely this next blog entry because it deals directly with the important issue of your workers’ comp coverage. Chances are, as an employer in the state of Wisconsin, you are required to have this coverage for your employees to protect them in case they have an injury on the job. And if this does occur, just by having workers’ comp insurance, you are protecting yourself in all likelihood from your employee suing you for liability, for negligence, for damages, or for medical care.
Many employers in your shoes will buy their workers’ comp coverage from an insurance carrier who is licensed to sell workers’ comp insurance in the state of Wisconsin. Other employees may be doing what is called self-insurance, where they are paying for their workers’ comp claims directly from their own money instead of paying an insurance company a premium to pay those claims. Not all employers can self-insure. They must qualify for the right to do that from the state.
The cut off for most employers in the state of Wisconsin is that they have three or more full time or part time workers usually on staff. If this is the case, then you must get workers’ comp insurance right away to comply with the law. You will also have to get workers’ comp insurance if you employ one or more full time or part time employees who earn gross wages of $500 or more in a quarter at any location in Wisconsin. If that’s the case, you are required to get insurance for them by the 10th day of the first month of the next quarter.
Another differentiator in the Wisconsin workers’ comp system when it comes to the insurance requirements if for farmers. If you are a Wisconsin farmer, listen up. If you have six or more workers employed on the same day for any 20 days during the calendar year, then you must have workers’ comp insurance for those employees by the 10th day after the 20th day of their employment.