Workers Compensation in Wisconsin

In 1911, Wisconsin adopted a Workmen's Compensation Act. It was one of the first in the country. Most Wisconsin employers are required to carry worker's compensation insurance unless they qualify for self-insured status. In return for providing worker's compensation insurance, employers receive the assurance they will have a limited amount of liability for damages, medical care and lost wages if a workplace injury or death occurs. 

While not perfect (what is right?), The Wisconsin Worker's Compensation Act was a great compromise for employers and employees alike. It removed the burden of proof for employees to show the employer was negligent, and removed unlimited risk for employers. Because of the Wisconsin worker's compensation laws, both employees and employers can focus on getting back to work.

If employees get injured while working, employers can direct them to their insurance company's worker's compensation insurance for quality medical and prompt payment of benefits and an early return to work.

According to the State of Wisconsin's website at the time of writing, the following criteria usually results in a requirement to carry worker's compensation insurance for your business's employees.

  • Usually employ three or more full-time or part-time employees. You must get insurance immediately.
  • Employ one or more full-time or part-time employees to whom you have paid combined gross wages of $500 or more in any calendar quarter for work done at one or more locations in Wisconsin. You must have insurance by the 10th day of the first month of the next calendar quarter.
  • If you are a farmer who employs 6 or more workers on the same day for any 20 days during the calendar year. You must get insurance by the 10th day after the 20th day of employment. A calendar year is January through December.
  • Out-of-state employers must have worker's compensation insurance if they have employees working in Wisconsin.  The policy must be with an insurance company licensed to write in Wisconsin and endorsed to name Wisconsin as a covered state in Section 3a of your policy.

The State of Wisconsin also suggests the following for employees hurt on the job:

  • Tell you supervisor or manager that you're hurt immediately (without causing delay in receiving medical help), even if your first thoughts are the  injury is minor and will heal without medical attention. Documentation is key, because you never know if the first symptoms are just the start of something more serious and immediately non-concerning. 
  • Obtain any necessary medical attention right away. Which may be the use of first aid, seeing a doctor, or going to the emergency room. Don't allow cost to determine if you should seek needed medical care. 
  • Keep and maintain all relevant medical and payment records for possible future use. Be sure to forward the appropriate information to your employer and/or insurance carrier.
  • Don't delay. You should notify your employer and get medical attention without delay. Wisconsin worker's compensation insurance through your employer covers your work related injuries. Regardless of your health insurance coverage, you won't have a deductible to pay or co-payments for work related injuries.

The State of Wisconsin suggests the following for employers (non self-insured):

  • Timely report employee injuries to your insurance carrier or claims administrator. The insurance carrier will then report the injury/illness to the Wisconsin Worker's Compensation Division. 
  • Your insurance carrier will pay for the reasonable and necessary medical expenses.  

Want to know more (there's a lot more to learn)? Give us a call and we'll be happy to provide a quote for your wisconsin worker's compensation insurance.