Did you know? Prior to any workers’ compensation laws, an injured worker rarely was paid compensation or received any financial relief from the company even though working conditions were extremely hazardous.
An injured or disabled worker’s only recourse was to file a civil suit against their employer. Germany became one of the first countries to protect injured workers by passing legislation to provide compensation for injured and disabled employees.
The Workers’ Accident Insurance law offered benefits for job-related injuries and covered medical care and rehabilitation. It was then replaced in 1897 with a Workmen’s Compensation Act, which mirrored Prussia’s Workers’ Accident Insurance law.
In 1908, the U.S. federal government adopted the first actual “workmen’s” compensation law in America called the Federal Employer’s Liability Act. Ohio followed-up in 1911 when it created its’ first workers’ compensation statute.
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Read more about the history of workers’ compensation.