Supreme Court Will Not Reconsider State Decision in Hutterite Workers Comp Case
On Monday, October 7th, the highest court turned down a lawsuit filed by the Montana Big Sky Colony of Hutterites, who are fighting a Montana law from 2009 saying that the religious colony must pay for workers comp insurance for businesses outside the colony.
The Hutterites claim that the law infringes on their religious beliefs. Members of the colony have no personal property and do not earn a wage for their work, as part of their religious-based communal life. Because the colony does not believe in wage payments for members, an individual Hutterite cannot make a workers comp claim when the worker is injured. Accepting money for work, even workers comp in times of injury, could lead to excommunication.
The Montana Supreme Court, however, ruled that the workers comp requirement does not interfere with Hutterites’ religious practices, as it only regulates their commercial activities outside of the colony.
What is Workers’ Compensation, or Workers Comp?
Basically, workers comp or workers compensation an insurance policy your employer must carry to make sure that employees injured at work can obtain necessary medical treatment and financial assistance for lost wages, plus additional compensation for any work-related injury, sickness, or disease that causes total or partial impairment to work. South Carolina Workers’ Compensation is available regardless of fault when the injury arises out of, and in the course of, employment.
By law, every South Carolina employer with four or more full-time employees must have workers compensation insurance. The protection provided under the South Carolina Workers Comp Act is only the beginning of your right to compensation for a workplace injury.
Any full-time employee (working for an employer with four or more employees) who has an employment related injury and needs medical attention should be covered under workers’ compensation insurance. It doesn’t matter if the injury was a complete accident or the fault of a co-worker
An employee MUST notify his or her employer within 90 days of the injury or risk losing the right to benefits under workers compensation. (It is recommended that you record details of your accident and to whom you reported it.) If it’s been more than 90 days since your work accident occurred, you may need help obtaining benefits for medical treatment and lost wages.
Workers’ compensation insurance benefits to assist the injured employee include:
- Medical treatment and other medical expenses (gas mileage, public transportation costs)
- Lost wages: 2/3 of an employee’s wages will be paid out after a seven-day waiting period
- Compensation for a permanent loss: blindness, loss of limb
- Death benefits to spouse and dependents
The Strom Law Firm Understands Worker’s Comp Legislation
The workers comp lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC proudly seek justice on behalf of employees injured or killed on the job who work for private companies, as well as employees working for local county, city, and state government. We are licensed to practice throughout South Carolina, as well as Georgia and New York. If you are confused about worker’s comp laws, or have had your worker’s comp claim denied, contact us. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800.