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*This section is provided as a quick reference tool only.
(see disclaimer at the bottom)

Employer Information

Employer's Civil Liability

Generally speaking, an employer who is covered by workers' compensation is not subject to civil liability or suit by the injured worker. This is one of the main reasons for an employer to carry workers' compensation insurance. Workers' compensation is a system which pays benefits to the injured worker by the employer regardless of fault or negligence. Even if the injury was the employee's fault, the employer must pay. Likewise, if the employer caused the accident, the employee can generally not sue the employer.

There are some exceptions to when an injured worker can receive workers' compensation and also sue the employer for civil damages. These situations may include such things as an employer being guilty of violating federal and state anti-discriminatory statute, violation of sexual harassment laws, a deliberate and willful intent on the part of the employer to injure the worker, and threats to discharge or actual termination for the filing of a valid workers' compensation claim.

In addition, if an employer does not have workers' compensation coverage or is not qualified as a self-insured, the injured worker may sue the employer. There are also other circumstances where the employer might be held civilly liable such as when he engages in fraudulent activity.

*This section is provided as a reference tool only. Benefit rates as well as State agency contacts, phone numbers and addresses may change periodically and are not guaranteed. Please send notification of any changes to