Employment law and workers’ compensation law may appear similar because they both involve workers and the workplace. But they are actually two very different areas of the law.
Our team at Mishra X Trial Lawyers uses deep industry insight and trial skills to aggressively fight employers and extract above-market value for claims in workers’ compensation and employment litigation cases. We can provide you with highly skilled legal representation to fully protect your rights.
We’ll explain the differences between these two areas of law below and whether an employment law firm can handle workers' compensation cases.
What is employment law?
Employment law is a broad area that encompasses all areas of the employer and employee relationship. It consists of thousands of federal and state statutes, regulations, and judicial decisions.
Some significant areas of employment law include:
- Discrimination: Employment discrimination laws work to prevent discriminatory practices in the workplace, like hiring bias, promotion, job assignment, termination, compensation, retaliation, and other forms of harassment.
- Compensation: Unemployment compensation provides workers whose jobs have been terminated through no fault of their own, and provides monetary payments for a set period of time.
- Pensions: Upon retirement, many workers receive monetary compensation from their employer in the form of a pension.
What is workers' compensation law?
Workers’ compensation laws protect people who become injured or disabled at their jobs. These laws provide injured workers with fixed monetary rewards to eliminate the need for litigation. These laws may also provide death benefits to dependents whose family members are killed on the job. Some laws also work to protect employers and fellow workers by limiting the amount an injured employee can recover from an employer.
There are both federal and state laws that relate to workers’ compensation:
- Federal laws: Several federal laws pertain to workers’ compensation. Some of the laws that provide broad protection include — the Federal Employment Compensation Act (non-military, federal employees), the Federal Employment Liability Act (railroad companies), the Merchant Marine Act (seamen), the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (private maritime employees), and the Black Lung Benefits Act (miners).
- State laws: Most states offer comprehensive state plans for workers’ compensation like California’s Title 8 from the Code of Regulations. The state’s statute limits the liability of the employer and fellow employees. California also requires employers to obtain insurance to cover potential workers’ compensation claims and set up a fund for claims that employers have illegally failed to insure against.
Can employment law and workers’ compensation law overlap?
Yes, employment law and workers’ compensation law can overlap at times, making it possible for employment law firms to handle workers’ compensation cases. That’s because issues in employment law cases can overlap with workers’ compensation cases.
For example, a worker is hurt on the job and files a workers’ compensation claim. The employer then fires the worker. At that point, the worker has both employment law and workers’ compensation claims that can be filed in court.
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