This year marks the 100th anniversary of the workers’ compensation system in the United States. The system was originally designed as a trade off whereby workers would be compensated when they received an on-the-job injury without having to prove fault. In the trade, however, the worker gave up significant rights and could not file suit against his or her employer regardless of how bad the conduct causing the injury might be.
The amount of compensation under most state laws was scheduled and therefore limited. While other countries and even pirates had systems in place going back to the 18th century, the United States didn’t have a workers’ compensation system until the early 1900s. I believe Maryland was the first with a system in place in 1902. Many of the early acts were ruled unconstitutional as a violation of due process. Wisconsin was the first state to enact a system that survived legal challenge. Plans in the various states have evolved from that plan. Alabama joined up in 1919 with Mississippi being the last state to pass a law in 1948. I am not familiar with other states, but Alabama’s current law favors the employer and may be the worst for workers in the country.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.