Most workers are aware of the protection provided by employers’ workers’ compensation insurance. What some employees may not know is that there can be qualifying factors that may affect them.

While the law charges every Wisconsin employer subject to the Workers’ Compensation Act to carry insurance, there are some exceptions. The Workers’ Compensation Division provides in-depth information and specifics about our state’s requirements. For example, domestic servants and a person whose employment is not in the trade or business of the employer would not be covered unless an employer chooses to do so.

Some classes of workers are not covered. These include those falling under federal law, such as postal workers, the military and veterans’ administration employees. Seamen and dock workers are protected under separate laws. Native Americans working in tribal businesses aren’t subject to workers’ compensation requirements unless they waive sovereign immunity and choose to do so. Religious sect members who qualify may be found exempt. Under Wisconsin statutes, an employee may not waive his or her right to compensation in an agreement with an employer.

Relatives in a family business are generally considered to be employees except in some farm operations. Whether a worker is part-time or full-time has no bearing on any employer’s requirement to maintain coverage. Volunteers, as the government defines the word, cannot be covered for injury while serving a business.

Most workers are eligible to seek benefits when they suffer work-related injuries, occupational diseases or repetitive stress conditions that limit their ability to do their jobs. Even though Wisconsin is a no-fault workers’ compensation state, the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim can be complex.

Recovery, rehabilitation and getting back to work can be made easier when financial stresses are reduced. It’s more likely you can enjoy a positive outcome when you have a clear understanding of what is available to you and your family. Our workers’ compensation page can get you started.

Source: Department of Workforce Development, “Questions and Answers Regarding Worker's Compensation Insurance Requirements in Wisconsin” Sep. 12, 2014