I was asked recently about a worker’s compensation question. For full disclosure I handle only workplace injuries against third parties. For example, if you are driving a work vehicle and involved in a car accident I would help you obtain compensation for pain and suffering, mileage to the doctor, doctors bills, property damage, rental vehicle and lost wages etc. This claim is against the at fault driver, i.e. the third party.
In addition to the claim against the at fault driver the injured person has a claim with workers compensation insurance. These types of claims are called first party claims. I don’t handle these. But, I work with attorneys across Wisconsin who do a great job.
Anyway, the question was whether an employer can force an employee to sign a contract to waive any worker’s compensation benefits.
This is what I found from Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance:
An employer subject to the Act may not withhold or
collect any money from employees or any other
person, including independent contractors and
subcontractors, to pay for worker’s compensation
insurance. To do so is illegal. Also, no agreement by
an employee waiving rights to compensation is valid.
[s. 102.16 (3) and 102.16 (5), Wis. Stat.]
I hope this answers your question!
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