Workers Compensation: The Special Rules for Certain Types of Employees

Workers Compensation: The Special Rules for Certain Types of Employees

Not all workers are eligible for workers’ compensation, even if you meet the eligibility requirements. There are some types of workers that are exempt. The following are the types of employees who are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Undocumented Immigrant workers are defined as employees who do not have legal status to work in the United States. Because of this, some states do not require workers’ compensation insurance for these types of workers. The good news is, in Colorado, that is not the case. Colorado explicitly does provide workers’ compensation benefits for undocumented workers. Unfortunately, this is not the case in some states. As these laws continue to evolve, we have been seeing more coverage for undocumented workers over time. With that said, there are still legislators who are working against this progression.

Domestic workers are employees of private homes and residences. In some states, coverage is not required for domestic workers. Many states don’t require workers’ compensation coverage for employees working in private homes, such as housekeepers, butlers, or nannies. In some cases, workers’ compensation is only excluded from those employees who are not considered full-time workers. These eligibility requirements are defined on a state by state case, so it is important to understand your rights based on where you live. In Colorado, as long as you are a full-time domestic employee (you work 40 hours per week or 5 days per week) then it is required by the state, for an employer, to have workers’ compensation insurance. 

In some states, casual or seasonal workers are excluded from workers’ compensation benefits. Casual workers are employees that are only guaranteed work when it is needed. In other words, there is no expectation that there will be future work nor would either party have any obligation toward the other. Seasonal workers are employees hired for a short term, specified to a certain period of time only. Typically they are part-time workers. Colorado has few exceptions, so it is in your best interest to seek legal advice on this matter.

If you’re an employee of a temp or staffing agency, you are considered a leased or loaned employee. Any injury incurred while on assignment should be covered by workers’ compensation. Depending on the state, the responsible party will vary. These circumstances have a variety of scenarios, where it will be decided between the insurance providers of both parties. This can be a complex and difficult scenario, where legal counsel can help through the process.

In many states, farm and agriculture workers may be exempt from coverage, but those exemptions often apply only to small farms. Colorado does not exempt farmworkers from workers’ compensation claims. It is required to have workers compensation insurance to cover all farmworkers.

You should never assume you are or are not covered by workers’ compensation laws. If you are injured where you work, you should immediately seek legal counsel. At Maes Law, we have a breadth of experience in workers’ compensation. Please do reach out to us if you are injured at your place of employment, it could drastically help you in those times of need.