Employers have a duty to adhere to the workers compensation laws applicable to their state and their industry. All business must carry workers compensation insurance, unless otherwise exempt.
By maintaing a safe, injury free workplace, employers can bring their workers compensation insurance premiums down.
However, when a work injury does occur, employers must report all employee injuries and promptly send in all workers compensation claim related forms the administering state agency.
Employers must be aware of their responsibilities and rights for their particular industry.
For example, in the railroad industry, employers have a duty to ensure that the workplace is reasonably free of unsafe conditions and safety hazards, warn employees of any unsafe conditions and hazards, and inspect the workplace to ensure it is free of known and unknown hazards.
Employers also have to provide training to every worker in terms of their job responsibilities, provide adequate supervision of employees so that injuries can be avoided, and to ensure that company job safety rules are followed. These are good practices to follow for any business.
Some employers vigorously contest employee claims for workers' compensation payments.
They may believe the employee's claim is illegitimate, be seeking to minimize any increase in their workers compensation insurance premiums, or simply not want to pay for the claim.
In a contested claim, the employer may deny the claim and the claimant has the right to have the case ruled on by a judge.
Even if the claim is not denied, the employer may have a hostile attitude toward their employee for being unable to work while still receiving workers compensation payments, which can adversely affect the employee–employer relationship.