The State Workers Compensation Board of Georgia was established in the year 1920 and serves the community by being the referral for more than 3.8 million employees in the state of Georgia. This State Board receives its funding through assessment from self insured employers and also from insurance companies. A range of benefits such as medical payments, compensation of a part of lost wages and even for vocational rehabilitation services, could possibly be available to legally covered employee who sustains an injury while at work.
Before the act called ‘Workers Compensation’ was passed, an employee injured during work could not claim any benefits from his employer. A labour force comprising of children, men, and women usually had no recourse to any compensation for work connected injuries, even though they had to work under oppressive and harsh conditions.
The stand taken by the court was often that employees were aware of the risk when accepting the job, were careless, or hindered from recovering owing to carelessness by a colleague. It was also not the most satisfying of methods to try to obtain redress in court since that process was mostly long and costly. While this became an insurmountable obstacle for a worker in dire need of lost wages and medical expenses, a successful court procedure could also render a small company bankrupt.
Today’s workers’ compensation law limits the liability of the employer, and causes the employee to be eligible to claim particular benefits for injuries received during work, with no regard to fault or negligence. Using self insurance programs or going through private insurers, employers in Georgia cover themselves with worker’s compensation insurance. The rights of an employee injured during work are specific and legally prevent the employer from any claims of the employee outside of these laws.
Any employer with a work force of a minimum of three workers, whether they are full or part time, comes under this law. This includes non profit organisations and public corporations.
Federal government workers, domestic servants, farm labourers and farmers, and also railroad workers have a specific exemption from workers’ compensation law. These are a few categories of employees who do not come under this law.
The State Workers Compensation Board works in close conjunction with a fund termed Subsequent Injury Trust. In cases when a worker has had a prior injury which was subsequently further damaged by an injury while working, this Fund reimburses employers or insurers for a part of the compensation monies paid out.
Assessments from self insured employers and insurance companies completely fund the compensation program for workers.