Legislative Bill 101, introduced on January 6, 2023, seeks to amend the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act to provide an exemption from the act for certain agricultural operations.
The Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act is a set of laws and regulations that provide benefits to employees who are injured on the job or suffer from work-related illnesses. The Act requires most employers in Nebraska to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage for their employees.
Under the Act, employees who are injured on the job are entitled to receive benefits for medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent disabilities resulting from the injury. The Act also provides benefits to the surviving dependents of employees who are killed on the job.
An employer engaged in an agricultural operation is not subject to the Workers’ Compensation Act unless the employer employs 10 or more unrelated, full-time employees. Introduced by Senator Erdman, Legislative Bill 101 would allow agricultural employers, who employ 10 or more unrelated, full-time employees, to obtain an exemption from the rights and obligations of the Workers’ Compensation Act, by filing a waiver with the Director of Insurance. The exemption would last one year and the employer could renew it each year as long as the employer is still employing 10 or more unrelated, full-time employees.
Employers who file a waiver would be liable for any injuries occurring to their employees as a direct result of performing their job. The amendment also outlines the process for employers who wish to return to exempt status after providing workers' compensation insurance.
LB 101, if passed, this exemption would remove the requirement for these employers to carry workers' compensation insurance for their employees, and could result in a potential increase in liability for both the employer and the employee.
Additionally, it could make it more difficult for injured workers to obtain compensation for workplace injuries or illnesses, as they would no longer be covered under the Workers' Compensation Act.
For more information about how this proposed bill could affect you and your agriculture operation, please contact us at 402.861.7000 or ContactFNIC@fnicgroup.com.