Not all of the employed workforce in Iowa is covered by workers’ compensation insurance. What’s more, distinguishing between whether or not an employee in training is covered by the state’s workers’ compensation insurance system can be complex. Ultimately, the best way for a business owner in Des Moines to handle workplace injury is by preventing it through workplace safety measures. For new hires who want to know if they are covered, here’s what Iowa law says about workers’ compensation for new employees.
Workers Not Covered Under Iowa Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Iowa workers’ compensation laws, Section 85.1, state that the following employees are exempt from workers’ compensation benefits.
- Workers who earn less than $1,500 from their employer during the year prior to the injury
- Agricultural employees who make less than $2,500 in the year preceding the injury
- Certain relatives of the employer
- Exchange labor in agricultural employment
- Police officers and firefighters entitled to benefits under Iowa Code
- LLC members
- Certain members of a corporation (i.e. president, vice president, etc.) who opt out
- A proprietor/partner who is engaged in their business on a full time basis
As such, based on the above, an employee in training may not be covered by workers’ compensation insurance if any of the criteria named are satisfied.
Iowa Workers’ Compensation Code and Trainees
To determine a compensation amount when a worker is injured, employers must compute the employee's their gross weekly earnings. Iowa Code 85.36 states that new staff or trainees who have not worked more than 13 weeks for the employer at the time of injury shall have their gross weekly earnings computed by determining the total amount of money the “employee would have earned had he been employed…and dividing that amount by 13.”
If the employee was an apprentice or trainee at the time of injury, and the employee’s wages were expected to increase had the employee not missed work because of the workplace injury, then this fact may be considered when calculating the worker’s weekly earnings amount, according to section 9(b) of the code.
Find Out if You're Covered with An Attorney
Interpreting Iowa workers’ compensation code isn’t always cut and dry. When a new employee or an employee in training is injured on the job, they need a legal representative who can help them understand whether or not they are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, and if they are, how their benefits will be calculated.
The Des Moines workers’ compensation attorneys at Walker, Billingsley & Bair understand the importance of the workers’ compensation system, and how much it can benefit an injured worker, trainee or otherwise. To receive a free case consultation to discuss your rights today, contact us now at (888) 435-9886.
If you would like to learn more about Iowa work injuries including 7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid if You are Hurt at Work order a copy of our book “Iowa Workers’ Compensation- An Insider’s Guide to Work Injuries” by clicking the link or by calling 1-800-707-2552 (ext. 511) (24 Hour Recorded Message). Why offer a Book at No Cost? Iowa Work Injury Attorney Corey J. L. Walker offers his book at no cost because he has represented hundreds of Iowans hurt on the job and seen too many clients make mistakes before they knew about how much they should receive which cost them thousands of dollars. Iowans injured at work are beginning to realize that the insurance company is not there to help them and they should learn about the laws that affect them and their claim. Finally, you can learn about Iowa work injuries in the comfort of your own home with no risk, cost or obligation. For immediate assistance call 515-440-2852 and ask for Corey.