Prior to enactment of workers’ compensation in 1913, an injured worker was without remedy for a workplace injury unless he or she successfully proved negligence on the part of the employer, and similarly, was without remedy if the employer could prove the employee’s own negligence contributed to the injury.
This no-fault system benefits both employers and employees. In return for no-fault compensation and medical care to for an injured employee, the employer cannot be sued civilly by the employee, and the employee is free from arguments of contributory negligence.
Essential to maintaining this no-fault workers’ compensation system, however, is proof that an injury or disease is job-related. Requiring employers to cover injuries or diseases without proof that they were contracted in the workplace violates the core principles underlying the workers’ compensation system.