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Nebraska Workers' Compensation Legal Library


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48-145. Employers; compensation insurance required; exceptions; effect of failure to comply; self-insurer; payments required; deposit with State Treasurer; credited to General Fund.

To secure the payment of compensation under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act:

(1) Every employer in the occupations described in section 48-106, except the State of Nebraska and any governmental agency created by the state, shall either (a) insure and keep insured its liability under such act in some corporation, association, or organization authorized and licensed to transact the business of workers' compensation insurance in this state, (b) in the case of an employer who is a lessor of one or more commercial vehicles leased to a self-insured motor carrier, be a party to an effective agreement with the self-insured motor carrier under section 48-115.02, (c) be a member of a risk management pool authorized and providing group self-insurance of workers' compensation liability pursuant to the Intergovernmental Risk Management Act, or (d) with approval of the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court, self-insure its workers' compensation liability.

An employer seeking approval to self-insure shall make application to the compensation court in the form and manner as the compensation court may prescribe, meet such minimum standards as the compensation court shall adopt and promulgate by rule and regulation, and furnish to the compensation court satisfactory proof of financial ability to pay direct the compensation in the amount and manner when due as provided for in the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act. Approval is valid for the period prescribed by the compensation court unless earlier revoked pursuant to this subdivision or subsection (1) of section 48-146.02. Notwithstanding subdivision (1)(d) of this section, a professional employer organization shall not be eligible to self-insure its workers' compensation liability. The compensation court may by rule and regulation require the deposit of an acceptable security, indemnity, trust, or bond to secure the payment of compensation liabilities as they are incurred. The agreement or document creating a trust for use under this section shall contain a provision that the trust may only be terminated upon the consent and approval of the compensation court. Any beneficial interest in the trust principal shall be only for the benefit of the past or present employees of the self-insurer and any persons to whom the self-insurer has agreed to pay benefits under subdivision (11) of section 48-115 and section 48-115.02. Any limitation on the termination of a trust and all other restrictions on the ownership or transfer of beneficial interest in the trust assets contained in such agreement or document creating the trust shall be enforceable, except that any limitation or restriction shall be enforceable only if authorized and approved by the compensation court and specifically delineated in the agreement or document.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act, a three-judge panel of the compensation court may, after notice and hearing, revoke approval as a self-insurer if it finds that the financial condition of the self-insurer or the failure of the self-insurer to comply with an obligation under the act poses a serious threat to the public health, safety, or welfare. The Attorney General, when requested by the administrator of the compensation court, may file a motion pursuant to section 48-162.03 for an order directing a self-insurer to appear before a three-judge panel of the compensation court and show cause as to why the panel should not revoke approval as a self-insurer pursuant to this subdivision. The Attorney General shall be considered a party for purposes of such motion. The Attorney General may appear before the three-judge panel and present evidence that the financial condition of the self-insurer or the failure of the self-insurer to comply with an obligation under the act poses a serious threat to the public health, safety, or welfare. The presiding judge shall rule on a motion of the Attorney General pursuant to this subdivision and, if applicable, shall appoint judges of the compensation court to serve on the three-judge panel. The presiding judge shall not serve on such panel. Appeal from a revocation pursuant to this subdivision shall be in accordance with section 48-185. No such appeal shall operate as a supersedeas unless the self-insurer executes to the compensation court a bond with one or more sureties authorized to do business within the State of Nebraska in an amount determined by the three-judge panel to be sufficient to satisfy the obligations of the self-insurer under the act;

(2) An approved self-insurer shall furnish to the State Treasurer an annual amount equal to two and one-half percent of the prospective loss costs for like employment but in no event less than twenty-five dollars. Prospective loss costs is defined in section 48-151. The compensation court is the sole judge as to the prospective loss costs that shall be used. All money which a self-insurer is required to pay to the State Treasurer, under this subdivision, shall be computed and tabulated under oath as of January 1 and paid to the State Treasurer immediately thereafter. The compensation court or designee of the compensation court may audit the payroll of a self-insurer at the compensation court's discretion. All money paid by a self-insurer under this subdivision shall be credited to the General Fund;

(3) Every employer who fails, neglects, or refuses to comply with the conditions set forth in subdivision (1) or (2) of this section shall be required to respond in damages to an employee for personal injuries, or when personal injuries result in the death of an employee, then to his or her dependents; and

(4) Any security, indemnity, trust, or bond provided by a self-insurer pursuant to subdivision (1) of this section shall be deemed a surety for the purposes of the payment of valid claims of the self-insurer's employees and the persons to whom the self-insurer has agreed to pay benefits under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act pursuant to subdivision (11) of section 48-115 and section 48-115.02 as generally provided in the act.

Source:Laws 1913, c. 198, § 46, p. 599; R.S.1913, § 3687; Laws 1917, c. 85, § 21, p. 215; Laws 1921, c. 122, § 1, p. 528; C.S.1922, § 3069; C.S.1929, § 48-146; Laws 1935, c. 57, § 31, p. 202; C.S.Supp.,1941, § 48-146; R.S.1943, § 48-145; Laws 1957, c. 205, § 1, p. 723; Laws 1963, c. 286, § 1, p. 860; Laws 1971, LB 572, § 8; Laws 1986, LB 811, § 67; Laws 1988, LB 1146, § 1; Laws 1997, LB 474, § 4; Laws 1999, LB 216, § 9; Laws 2000, LB 1221, § 8; Laws 2005, LB 13, § 8; Laws 2005, LB 238, § 10; Laws 2010, LB579, § 16.

Cross References
    Intergovernmental Risk Management Act, see section 44-4301.
Annotations
    A cause of action for retaliatory demotion exists when an employer demotes an employee for filing a workers' compensation claim. Trosper v. Bag 'N Save, 273 Neb. 855, 734 N.W.2d 703 (2007).

    Nebraska recognizes a public policy exception to the at-will employment doctrine to allow an action for retaliatory discharge when an employee has been discharged for filing a workers' compensation claim. Jackson v. Morris Communications Corp., 265 Neb. 423, 657 N.W.2d 634 (2003).

    Pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, where employee alleges that employer has failed to maintain workers' compensation insurance and employer introduces no evidence to refute employee's allegation, district court may exercise jurisdiction over employee's petition for damages for personal injuries sustained by employee in course of working for employer. Schweitzer v. American Nat. Red Cross, 256 Neb. 350, 591 N.W.2d 524 (1999).

    Under Nebraska statute, any workmen's compensation policy is required to cover all of the employer's liability and all compensation awarded under the act. Neeman v. Otoe County, 186 Neb. 370, 183 N.W.2d 269 (1971).

    Owner of building used in conducting owner's business who contracts for certain repairs to said building is an employer within act, unless the contractor was required to procure compensation insurance for protection of his employees. New Masonic Temple Assn. v. Globe Indemnity Co., 134 Neb. 731, 279 N.W. 475 (1938).

    Where petition did not show when contract of employment was made, failure to allege election or failure to procure insurance in common-law action for damages did not require dismissal of suit. Smith v. Fall, 122 Neb. 783, 241 N.W. 560 (1932).

    Noninsuring employer cannot take advantage of his own default to detriment of employee. Dietz Club v. Niehaus, 110 Neb. 154, 193 N.W. 344 (1923).

    Noninsuring employer is liable either for damages at common law or for compensation, at employee's option. Avre v. Sexton, 110 Neb. 149, 193 N.W. 342 (1923).

    Provision that employer must insure or furnish proof of ability to pay compensation is constitutional. Nedela v. Mares Auto Co., 110 Neb. 108, 193 N.W. 345 (1923).

    Defense that plaintiff employee had waived right to sue at common law by accepting payment of hospital and doctor bill was not sustained. Brown v. York Water Co., 104 Neb. 516, 177 N.W. 833 (1920).



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