Most of the time, it’s pretty clear cut which state’s workers’ compensation laws are applicable to a situation.
A Colorado Springs resident gets hurt one day at his job at a local mechanic shop. He is a resident of the state and his employer is a business registered in Colorado, where the injury occurred. Pretty easy – Colorado workers’ compensation laws apply.
But it’s not always that clear as outlined in a new article about jurisdiction in the Denver workers’ compensation knowledge center.
Some businesses do work in different states. Some Colorado residents commute into neighboring states for work or vice versa. Whose workers’ compensation laws would apply then?
It depends but a lot of court cases have been heard since the inception of Colorado’s workers’ compensation laws. One case involved a construction supervisor who oversaw projects across the west for his firm. He was unfortunately killed one day while traveling from Wyoming to Idaho. The court found that because his employment contract originated in Colorado and that his employer was based here, he was covered by Colorado workers’ comp laws. If he wasn’t, his employer would have to purchase coverage in each state they worked in, a prohibitive cost indeed.
Other court cases used “substantial portion”, which remained the standard until the Denver Truck Exchange v. Perryman case in 1957. Basically, an employee had to conduct a substantial portion of their work in Colorado – simply being injured here wasn’t enough.
But a set of easily identifiable standards were implemented after the Perryman ruling in 1957 and have pretty much been the standard since. To fall under jurisdiction of Colorado workers’ compensation laws, an injured worker had to meet two of the following three conditions:
1. Contract of employment created in Colorado
2. Employment in Colorado under a contract created outside the state
3. Substantial employment in Colorado
Read our newest article in the Colorado workers’ compensation knowledge center to learn more. And if you’re unsure as to which state’s jurisdiction you fall under, contact our Denver workers’ compensation firm today for a no-risk, no-fee consultation.