Under the Worker’s Compensation Act, employers are required to purchase insurance that provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries and illnesses. The system is designed to strike a compromise between employers and employees often at odds about who is at fault when an employee is injured or diagnosed with a disease. Essentially, it works like this:
- Employees get a benefit regardless of fault
- Employers get relief from lawsuits by injured employees
The following are some important FAQs about Workers’ Compensation in Mississippi.
1. What defines an injury with regards to workers’ compensation?
In general, an injury includes any injury received during the course of and rising from the employee’s employment. Workers’ compensation laws specifically indicate that an injury does NOT include psychiatric conditions and any injury incurred while the employee is voluntarily participating in an employee-sponsored recreational activity such as a company softball league.
2. What are the situations where workers’ compensation will not pay for an employee injury?
There are several circumstances that mean workers’ compensation does not have to pay for an employee injury. These include self-inflicted injuries, injuries that occur while the employee is intoxicated, and injuries that occur when the employee is engaging in horseplay or fighting.
3. Are injuries sustained during work-related travel covered?
When travel is an integral part of the employee’s position and creates risk that is beyond the typical commute, i.e., traveling to another state for a meeting, then the injuries are covered. The so-called rule of ‘coming and going’, however, precludes any compensation for injuries in the parking lot, during lunch hour and break time, etc.
4. Are stress conditions covered by workers’ compensation?
Purely psychological conditions are not covered unless they specifically arise from a work-related injury; thus, mental conditions caused by work-related stress are not compensated. Physical conditions are different, however. Where work-related stress causes a physical injury, the injury is covered when it can be shown the employee was subject to pressures greater than those experienced in most types of employment.
5. Is there such a thing as an ‘occupational disease’ and how does it relate to workers’ compensation?
An occupational disease is defined under the Workers’ Compensation Act as a disease contracted during the course of employment wherein the nature of the employment put the employee at risk of contracting the disease to a greater degree than a member of the general public. A common example is carpal tunnel syndrome caused by an overuse of the hands in a job that requires extensive repetitive movements.
Consult your local team of experts at The Nowell Agency Inc. about workers’ compensation in Mississippi and request a quote online. Or call us at 601.992.4444 to discuss your workers’ compensation needs and the options available to you as an employer.