State and Local Government Employees
The type of employees who are eligible for benefits under the workers' compensation system varies from state to state. In some states, state and municipal government employees are covered under the workers' compensation system and in some states, these employees are not covered.
In general, state employees who are considered state "officials" are not eligible for workers' compensation benefits. However, there is a lot of variance in which employees are considered to be officials. Generally, if an employee implements any of the state's independent power, it is likely that he or she will be considered to be a state official and will be ineligible for workers' compensation benefits.
The question of whether an employee is an official often arises in connection with firefighters and police officers. They are not exactly employees and not exactly officials. Many state statutes recognize this problem and specifically apply workers' compensation benefits, rules, and requirements to police officers and firefighters.
If you are a state or municipal government employee, you should consult a lawyer. An experienced workers' compensation lawyer will be able to tell you if your state's workers' compensation statutes apply to you.
Contact a Iowa workers' compensation lawyer representing clients in Eldora, Iowa today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Federal Government Employees
Generally, state workers' compensation laws do not apply to federal government employees. Federal government employees have their own system that will compensate employees who are injured at work or on the job.
The Federal Employee's Compensation Act, or FECA, governs the workers' compensation benefits that federal government employees can receive. Under this act, a federal government employee is eligible for benefits when that employee is disabled or killed as a result of an injury that is "sustained while in the performance of duty."
Other classes of employees, even though they aren't employed by the federal government, may also be covered by federal workers' compensation laws specific to their industry. For example, the Federal Employer's Liability Act provides compensation for employees, such as railroad workers, who are injured while engaged in interstate transportation. The Jones Act provides benefits for seamen injured at work and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act provides similar benefits to longshoremen and others who are engaged in maritime activities on navigable waters. There are other laws that cover the workers' compensation benefits for certain employees. Some of these laws include the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, and the Defense Base Act.
Whether your workers' compensation benefits fall under FECA or another federal law depends on the type of work you do and your particular situation. You should contact an experienced workers' compensation lawyer who can help you obtain the maximum benefits under the laws that govern your employer.
The laws governing the workers' compensation system, including which employees are covered, employers' responsibilities, benefits and third parties vary from state to state. If you are either an employer or an employee injured at work, the best way to protect your interests is to contact an experienced workers' compensation lawyer familiar with the laws of your state.