Workers’ compensation insurance was created in the early part of the 20th century to provide medical coverage and death benefits for injured employees without clogging up the courts. This compensation has expanded to also provide income benefits, job retraining and replacement.
In Florida, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for each of their employees. This insurance provides coverage in the event of an injury or death on the job — but there are situations where workers’ comp can be denied even though it’s a “no-fault” system.
3 circumstances that that could disqualify a workers’ compensation claim
The following are merely hypothetical situations where a worker could not have a valid workers’ compensation claim due to their own actions:
- Comedy and employment don’t always safely mix. If a person was found to have suffered a workplace accident as a result of “horseplay,” it would most likely invalidate their workers´ compensation claim. The consensus is often that the accident was not work-related because “playing around” isn’t in the course of their job.
- There are always people that like to bend or break the rules on the job. However, imagine a worker that uses tools unsafely and in a way that is against manufacturer recommendations and company policy, a resulting accident doesn’t usually qualify for workers’ compensation. This holds also true for purposefully reckless behavior that is contrary to an employee handbook or job description.
- Some people do more than just bend rules, they break laws. If an employee was involved in any illegal activity while at work that led to an accident, an injury might not be covered. This includes being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while working.
These are fairly uncommon situations — but that may not stop an employer from trying to deny your claim unfairly for one of these reasons or several others.
To make sure that your rights are protected, it is important to be educated on what does and doesn’t qualify as a valid claim under workers’ compensation.