Two of the employment law issues that are frequently in contention are that of workplace safety and worker's compensation. Because worker's compensation is extremely expensive for the employer, many businesses will avoid paying it they can. For this reason, people seeking work in Massachusetts, or those who are already work there, should seek to better understand the way worker's compensation laws work. This is especially true for those who work in dangerous workplaces, but remember that a work-related accident can occur on just about any job.
It is necessary, according to laws for employment in Massachusetts, for employer's to do their best to provide a safe workplace environment. Most employers will indeed do their best to provide an accident-free workplace, but this isn't always the case. If you do work in an environment that you feel is unsafe, be sure to let someone know – there are state and federal agencies that can help you out. That said, even when the employer does go out of their way to make the workplace safe, some jobs are unavoidably hazardous, and there's always the possibility of an accident that will leave you severely injured an unable to work.
Employment in Massachusetts brings with it worker's compensation benefits – these benefits exist to help you manage financially while an injury or disability keeps you from working. Generally, if an accident that results in serious injury occurs that wasn't the result of your own negligence, you'll be entitled to some amount of worker's compensation. Even if an accident ends in a fatality, the deceased's family is generally entitled to compensation.
The worker's compensation system in place for employment in Massachusetts is designed to be a trade-off for both the employer and employee that helps to avoid litigation. The employer pays the pre-set amount of the worker's comp benefits immediately so a suit doesn't need to be filed. The employer is then safe from litigation, even if the accident was the fault of the employer.
This has been a source of contention in the state, since the amount of benefits is set 60% of the employee's wages, and is non-negotiable. Since the employer is immune to litigation, they are sometimes able to avoid paying for severe injuries that might cause injured employees severe mental anguish. While the situation can be agreeable for minor incidents that aren't the fault of the employer, for more severe accidents that result in significant maiming, disfigurement or death it's not always fair to the employee.