Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler

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Special workers’ compensation laws for public employees

In most cases, an employee who suffers a work-related injury or illness is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The benefits include payment for time taken off of work and compensation for medical bills. Essentially, the purpose of workers’ compensation laws is to provide a safety net for employees who are injured on the job. Government employees are covered by a special set of workers’ compensation laws.

Federal employees are covered something called the Federal Employee’s Compensation Act. Under FECA, a federal employee who is disabled due to an injury or disease sustained on the job can recover benefits, including medical expenses and lost wages. Some employees may also be entitled to receive vocational rehabilitation services. FECA covers employees regardless of how long they have been on the job or what time of position they hold. 

Certain categories of federal employees may be covered under different laws. For example, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act covers employees who work in interstate transportation, like railroad workers. The Jones Act covers fishermen and other seamen. There are a number of other acts that cover special categories of federal employees, such as those who work on defense bases or who are engaged in maritime activities.

Special workers’ compensation laws may also cover state or local government employees. In North Carolina, all state government employees are covered by the State Government Workers’ Compensation Program. This includes agency and university employees, elected officials, and members of the General Assembly. The Program covers full-time, part-time, and temporary employees. Under North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Program, state employees can receive medical and disability compensation for time taken off of work.  

If you are injured on the job, it is important that you notify your supervisor right away and complete the appropriate paperwork as soon as possible. Failure to do so could mean that you do not get the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled. To learn more about workers’ compensation or to get help with the forms, consider speaking with an experienced attorney. 

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