Online Class: Workers' Compensation 101

This course will take a close look at the entire Workers' Compensation system, from the filing of an initial claim, to a detailed look on how to choose the right doctor and lawyer, how to represent yourself in the absence of a lawyer, and, most importantly, a detailed look into the specific federal, state, and private benefits that are available to people who have become injured in their workplace.

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Course Description

Understanding Workers' Compensation: From Ancient Origins to Modern Applications

Tracing its roots back to the early civilizations of Ancient Greece and Rome, the foundation of what is now recognized as Workers' Compensation has been a cornerstone of labor and legal systems for over a millennium. These early systems were created to ensure that workers who suffered injuries or disabilities due to work-related incidents received adequate compensation. Today, with the evolution of industries, the nuances of employment, and the complexities of the modern world, the realm of Workers' Compensation has grown and transformed exponentially.

Our comprehensive course offers a deep dive into the intricate world of Workers' Compensation, equipping you with the knowledge and tools to navigate the system proficiently. From understanding the historic evolution of these laws to comprehending the nitty-gritty of the modern-day claims, benefits, and associated legalities, this course serves as a holistic guide.

Course Highlights:

  1. The History of Workers' Compensation: Journey through time and explore how ancient societies laid the groundwork for present-day compensation laws. Using detailed examples, you'll learn about the significant milestones that have shaped the current landscape.

  2. Workers' Compensation Benefits: Breakdown of the spectrum of benefits available under various jurisdictions. Get insights into federal, state, and private benefits available to injured workers.

  3. Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim: Step-by-step guidance on the claim filing process, complemented by practical examples to provide clarity and context.

  4. Denial of Benefits and Appeals: Understand the potential reasons for claim denial and the subsequent appeal process. Discover strategies and best practices to enhance the success rate of appeals.

  5. Medical Treatment and Choosing a Doctor: Delve into the medical aspects of Workers' Compensation, understanding how to select the right healthcare professional and ensure the best care for injuries.

  6. Dealing with Attorneys and Legal Forms: Gain insights into the legal side of claims, including how to engage with attorneys effectively and understand essential legal documents.

  7. Handling Your Own Case: For those who wish to represent themselves, this module provides guidance on self-representation, offering tips and strategies to navigate the system without legal counsel.

  8. Preparing for a Hearing, Mediation, and Other Litigation Matters: Equip yourself with knowledge on the intricacies of hearings, mediation sessions, and other related legal processes.

  9. Financial Considerations: Understand the monetary aspects related to claims, including potential benefits, calculations, and settlements.

  10. Workers Compensation Fraud: Delve into the darker side of Workers' Compensation, gaining awareness of fraudulent practices and learning to safeguard against them.

  11. Social Security Disability Insurance and Workers' Compensation: Explore the interplay between SSDI and Workers' Compensation, understanding their intersections and differences.

  12. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Uncover how FMLA interacts with Workers' Compensation, especially in scenarios where extended leaves are involved.

  13. Americans with Disabilities Act: Understand the protections offered under ADA, especially for workers recovering from injuries, and learn how it intertwines with Workers' Compensation.

Why This Course?

Suffering a workplace injury can be a transformative event, often fraught with confusion, stress, and uncertainty. Whether you're an employee seeking clarity on your rights or an employer wanting to ensure you're up-to-date with obligations, this course offers invaluable insights. With the perfect blend of historical context, practical examples, and comprehensive knowledge, this course is an indispensable resource for anyone looking to master the domain of Workers' Compensation. Dive in to empower yourself with a holistic understanding of this crucial field.

Course Motivation

The History of Workers' Compensation

The history of Workers' Compensation dates back literally thousands of years, to the beginning of written history. Workers' Compensation regulation and laws appear today in virtually all industrialized nations although laws governing workers have changed dramatically throughout history, and the United States is certainly no exception. 

The concept of Workers' Compensation can be found even in antiquity. The peoples of ancient Greece and Rome had very specific rules and regulations that outlined how people should be compensated due to injuries suffered in the course of their employment. While many people today seem to think our sets of laws and regulations are mind-numbingly precise and detailed, it should be noted that even ancient peoples had very precise schedules that governed the levels of compensation for each worker. For example, in ancient Arab law, the loss of a thumb was worth exactly one-half the value of an entire finger. 

As detailed as the ancient Workers' Compensation laws might have been, the difference between an impairment and a disability, a very important distinction in today's labor force, had not yet arisen. It is a distinction that will be discussed in this course. Briefly, an impairment is the loss of the use of a specific body part, or multiple body parts. A disability is the inability to perform one's job or assigned tasks. Although specific rules existed in ancient times for the compensation of impairments, the notion of a disability would take many years to become a part of the Workers' Compensation series of laws.  

As time progressed toward the Middle Ages and feudalism became the prevailing form of government, the specificity of the ancient laws governing Workers' Compensation were replaced with a more localized system. In the Middle Ages, the fate of workers was left chiefly to the feudal lords who were to care for their workers. Each of them made up their own guidelines for the compensation of workers who suffered an injury while under their employment. Naturally, some lords were more benevolent than others and the uniformity of the ancient laws governing Workers' Compensation gave way to a more localized, and chaotic, set of rules in the Middle Ages. It was not until the Renaissance period, roughly beginning in the 14th century, that labor laws were updated to include more uniform Workers' Compensation regulations.

Beginning in the Renaissance period, and leading up to the Industrial Revolution, or approximately the late 18th century, there were three main principles that governed compensation for injured workers. These were contributory negligence, the "fellow servant rule," and the assumption of risk. 

Contributory negligence meant that if a worker contributed to his or her own injury, due to careless use of a machine, for example, the employer was not responsible for the injury. This principle was intact even if the working conditions were less than satisfactory or if the worker was using particularly dangerous machinery. Similarly, if a worker was responsible for the upkeep of any machinery and responsible for maintaining its safe use, any injury due to a malfunction of such machinery could not be blamed on an employer.  

The "fellow servant" rule was put in place to state that an employer was not to be held liable if an injury to a worker was due to a colleague, or a fellow worker. 

The assumption of risk concept was simply that certain workers knew the inherent dangers of certain jobs. It stated that when workers signed their contracts to be employed by an employer, they released the employer from any liability resulting from an injury on the job. Employers were required to provide safety measures but, until modern times, these measures were usually wholly inadequate.

These three principles, when looked at through the context of modern history, seem extremely unfair and, indeed, they were regarded as unfair by many employees during the time periods in which they were enforced. The only recourse a worker had during these times was litigation. In those times, as well as in today's society, legal matters were extremely costly. Additionally, it was extremely difficult for a worker to win any compensation at all. Professional workers, and those with higher levels of education and money, were able to buy a primitive form of disability insurance. As more and more workers became accustomed to bringing lawsuits against their employers, many employers began to criticize the current state of laws and joined the workers in calling for reforms. 

A major change in Workers' Compensation laws began in Prussia in 1871 with the passage of the Employers' Liability Law, which provided some protection to workers in certain sectors of employment. These sectors included such venues as factories and mines. The law was the initiative of Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. In future years, Bismarck also instituted such initiatives as the Workers' Accident Insurance of 1884 which is generally regarded as the first doctrine of modern day Workers' Compensation. Additionally, he started a pension system for workers who were injured in non-job related incidents. It provided a small pension for those unable to work due to an injury as well as those who were never able to work due to certain disabilities. A very important concept of these laws was the protection employers enjoyed from worker lawsuits. The state run laws provided the only recourse for workers who were injured and, in many instances, lawsuits became unnecessary.

As time progressed, countries in the West began to embrace the notion of Workers' Compensation and enacted laws that protected, in essence, both the worker and the employer. The initiative of Otto von Bismarck served as a model for these laws. In 1880, there were laws enacted in England to establish workers' rights, but they were generally regarded as inadequate. It was not until 1897 when the British Parliament passed the Workers' Compensation Act, which provided stringent laws governing workers' rights. It established the right of private companies to provide insurance for workers, unlike the Prussian model which was entirely run by the government. 

Workers' Compensation laws in the United States were not enacted until 1906 and 1908, when a series of laws known as the Employers' Liability Acts were passed. They replaced the contributory negligence concepts of earlier times with regulations that provided a higher level of protection for workers. But, each state was left to decide how to interpret the laws. Each state passed their own version of comprehensive Workers' Compensation laws beginning in 1911. Mississippi was the last state to pass such laws in 1948.

The Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, was the first federal program that provided workers with compensation due to injuries sustained in non-job-related incidents. Like the pension model in Prussia, it also provided for benefits for people who were never able to work due to a disability. 

The history of Workers' Compensation laws shows great improvement over the years, but they are constantly being evaluated and changed as our labor force changes. We will take a close look at our current series of laws to examine how workers are protected in today's marketplace. 
  • Completely Online
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  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
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  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.5 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(1,454 votes)

Lesson 1. The History of Workers' Compensation

Workers' Compensation regulation and laws appear today in virtually all industrialized nations although laws governing workers have changed dramatically throughout history, and the United States is certainly no exception. 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Workers' Compensation Course; Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: Introduction
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2. Workers' Compensation Benefits

Depending on the severity of your injury, and several other factors, you may be entitled to a wide range of benefits. This chapter will address each type of benefit in detail, explain how to obtain these benefits, and, if applicable, what rules and regula 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3. Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim

Filing a Workers' Compensation claim is often not an easy task, but it need not be a daunting task. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4. Denial of Benefits and Appeals

For most of us, it is traumatic enough just to have an injury at work. But, experiencing a denial of benefits from your employer or your employer's insurance company can make the situation a great deal worse. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5. Medical Treatment and Choosing a Doctor

This chapter will address how to choose the right doctor for your needs, and it will address the medical treatments that you are entitled to under Workers' Compensation insurance. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6. Dealing with Attorneys and Legal Forms

Having an attorney working for you on a Workers' Compensation claim is not required, but it is certainly beneficial in many instances. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Workers' Compensation Case
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7. Handling Your Own Case

Although this chapter will not be an all inclusive lesson on how to represent yourself in legal matters, it will give you an introduction to how the legal process works in a Workers' Compensation case in which you choose to be your own representative. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8. Preparing for a Hearing, Mediation, and Other Litigation Matters

There is an enormous amount of material that must be reviewed during a Workers' Compensation case, and having an attorney to help you through the process of preparing for a hearing, mediation, and other matters concerning the law might prove to be essenti 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9. Financial Considerations

This chapter will address answers to some commonly asked financial questions dealing with Workers' Compensation. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10. Workers Compensation Fraud

Whether you are an employer, a worker, or an insurance agent, you need to be familiar with the subject of Workers' Compensation fraud. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Fraud
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11. Social Security Disability Insurance and Workers' Compensation

Since both the Social Security Administration and the Workers' Compensation system have a great deal of interaction, it is important to fully understand the rules and regulations of the Social Security program. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires a covered employer to grant medical leave to an employee under certain circumstances. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 Exam

Lesson 13. Americans with Disabilities Act

Many people who have become disabled as a result of a Workers' Compensation case will want to learn about their rights and protections under the law. 70 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Final Course Poll - Your Opinion; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Assessment: Lesson 13 Exam
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Summarize the history of Workers' Compensation.
  • Define Workers' Compensation benefits.
  • Describe the procedures involved in filing a Workers' Compensation Claim.
  • Describe Denial of Benefits and Appeals processes.
  • Summarize medical treatment, and choosing a doctor.
  • Summarize dealing with attorneys and legal forms.
  • Summarize handling your own case.
  • Summarize preparing for a hearing, mediation, and other litigation matters.
  • Identify financial considerations.
  • Summarize Workers Compensation fraud.
  • Compare and contrast Social Security Disability Insurance and Workers' Compensation.
  • Define Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • Summarize Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Workers' Compensation 101
Course Number: 7550193
Lessons Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars (1,454 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.
Last Updated: October 2023
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.5 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Linda Zavadil
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "A wonderfully informative class. I have learned so much that I did not know before and expanded on items that I previously worked with in the past. Thank you so much for this class. I look forward to many more." -- Deborah B.
  • "I enjoyed how the course material was presented in this Workers Compensation course. The information was easy to understand, and the quizzes for each chapter helped me retain the knowledge as I moved through the course." -- Amy D.
  • "This was excellent and very user friendly." -- Glen K.
  • "The instructor was always prompt when grading assignments and tests. Very positive in her comments." -- Melinda G.

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