Massachusetts law about workers' compensation

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases and web sources on workers' compensation law

Workers' Compensation

How to file a claim, Mass. Dept. of Industrial Accidents

Workers' Compensation for injured workers

Massachusetts Laws

MGL c.152 Workers' Compensation

Massachusetts Regulations

452 CMR Dept. of Industrial Accidents
211 CMR 45 Service Fee to Agents and Brokers Assisting with Workers' Compensation
211 CMR 110 Rate Filings and the Conduct of Hearings for Workers' Compensation
211 CMR 115 Requirements Related to Worker's Compensation Insurance Deductibles

Selected case law

DiCarlo v. Suffolk Construction Co., 473 Mass. 624 (2016)
A workers' compensation lien does not attach to damages paid by a third party for an employee's pain and suffering.

Findlay's Case, 77 Mass. App. Ct. 108 (2010)
Even though the law was changed to allow sole proprietors to be covered, it did not mean that a self-employed individual was automatically covered as an employee without making an affirmative decision to be treated as such.

Goodwin's Case, 82 Mass. App. Ct. 642 (2012)
A "major cause" need not be more than 50%, and in fact there may be more than one major cause.

Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania v. Great Northern Insurance Co., 473 Mass. 745 (2016)
"Under Massachusetts law, where two workers' compensation insurance policies issued by different companies provide coverage for the same loss, an employer, by electing to provide notice of the claim only to one insurer, does not foreclose that insurer from obtaining equitable contribution from the other insurer." Massachusetts does not recognize the "selective tender" exception to the doctrine of equitable contribution.

Sikorski's Case, 455 Mass. 477 (2009)
"A teacher who was injured in a skiing accident while serving as a chaperone for a school ski club trip [was entitled to workers' compensation] where the employee's injury arose out of and in the course of her employment, in that, even though her participation as a chaperone was voluntary, the activities involved constituted work connected to her employment; and where the injury did not fall within the statutory exclusion for injuries resulting from voluntary participation in a recreational activity, in that the employee's responsibilities as a chaperone, though voluntarily undertaken, were an extension of her employment duties as a teacher."

Wentworth v. Becker, 459 Mass. 768 (2011)
A worker injured by a subcontractor without workers' compensation insurance can collect workers' compensation from the general contractor, and that payment by the general contractor does not bar the employee from also suing the general contractor.


Department of Industrial Accidents Forms


Department of Industrial Accidents

Agency which oversees the Workers' Compensation system in Massachusetts.

Web sources

Workers' Compensation for Employers

  • Employer's Guide to the Massachusetts Workers' Compensation System, Dept. of Industrial Accidents, 2014, Includes: Who must be covered?; The change in the law concerning coverage of corporate officers; What injuries must be reported?; The reporting/claim process - from injury to adjudication; Why employers receive violation notices and how to appeal them; Reducing your Insurance rate /Managing your injuries. Available in several different languages.

Workers' Compensation for injured workers

  • Injured Worker's Guide to the Massachusetts Workers' Compensation System, Dept. of Industrial Accidents, Covers Where to Start, What if Your Claim is Denied, How Your Benefits Are Determined, When Your Benefits May be Stopped or Reduced, Lump Sum Settlements, Do You Need an Attorney, and Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Available in several different languages.

Massachusetts Workers' Compensation: LexisNexis Practice Guide, LexisNexis Group, annual.

Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Reports: Decisions of the Reviewing Board of the Department of Industrial Accidents.

Workers' Compensation, Mass. Practice v.29-29B, Thomson West, with supplement

Workers' Compensation Practice in Massachusetts, MCLE, loose-leaf

Last update: August 7, 2017


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