Rhode Island Workers Compensation Laws

Rhode Island workers compensation laws are enforced by the state Department of Labor and Training. These laws have been designed with an objective to ensure safe working environment for workers and employees. In case a worker gets injured while performing his duty at the workplace, the employer will be liable to compensate for the medical expenses and loss of income thus caused because of those occupational injuries. Sometimes, the workplace is exposed to harmful substances, which eventually causes certain disease in workers. In such cases, the disease is usually diagnosed at a later stage. The laws protect employees for occupational diseases also. Both employers as well as the employees must be aware of these laws.

Insurance Requirements

In general, Rhode Island workers compensation laws make it mandatory for all employers to carry occupational injury compensation insurance coverage, but there are certain exemptions as well, such as for independent contractors, sole proprietors, and partners. Besides that, some agricultural and real employers and those having domestic servants may also be exempted from this insurance requirement.

Non Compliance With The Insurance Law

The employers who do not comply with the insurance requirements as imposed by Rhode Island workers compensation laws are charges certain civil and administrative penalties. Much severe penalties and punishments are levied against those corporate employers who knowingly ignore these laws. There are provisions for monetary fines for every single day of non-compliance. Besides that, the negligent employers may even have to spend up to two years in prison.

Waiting Period

If the disability caused by occupational injuries or illnesses continues for more than three days, the injured worker qualifies for compensation benefits. In fact, from the fourth day, the compensation becomes retroactive. It means if the worker gets recovered within less than three days, no compensation will be rewarded to them, but if they are not fit enough to return to work even after three days, they will receive the benefits right form the first day of the accident.

Unlike the laws applicable in most other states, Rhode Island workers compensation laws allow employees to make the initial choice of the doctor.