Compulsory vs. Elective Laws (2020)

Lesson Progress:

Nearly all the states in the U.S. have compulsory laws. That means that employers must accept responsibility for workers’ injuries and are generally required to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance. Some employers are permitted to provide Workers’ Compensation through self-insurance, if they can prove their financial ability to do so. In lieu of purchasing Workers’ Compensation insurance, if an employer wishes to self-insure, it must provide a Surety Bond to the State of Utah.

In states with compulsory laws, nearly all workers must be covered by Workers’ Compensation.

One state, Texas, has elective laws, in which each employer may elect (choose) whether to participate in Workers’ Compensation or not. Most employers in Texas do provide Workers’ Compensation for their employees. If they do not, they can be sued by an injured worker and the employer loses the ability to use the common law defenses that were presented in the previous lesson.

Utah has compulsory—not elective—Workers’ Compensation laws.