Known as “The Good Life” state, Nebraska is recognized for its farming and agriculture prowess and its rich heritage. However, agriculture is also one of the most dangerous industries to work in. Nebraskans working in agricultural and farming operations must be aware that state laws generally exempt employers in those industries from providing workers’ compensation coverage to employees.
The law doesn’t paint a black and white picture, however. If you have been injured in this line of work, there are certain circumstances that do mandate workers’ compensation coverage.
For example, under the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act, employers engaged in an agricultural and farming operation are required to provide workers’ compensation for employees if:
• they employ 10 or more full-time employees, none of whom are family members,
• those full-time employees work on each work day for 13 weeks during the calendar year.
This includes employees at all locations of the operation.
If there are less than 10 employees, then the employer must provide the following written notice to each employee at the time they are hired (or at least 31 calendar days prior to the time of injury):
“In this employment you will not be covered by the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act, and you will not be compensated under the act if you are injured on the job or suffer an occupational disease. You should plan accordingly.”
The above notice must be signed by the employee and retained by the employer. If the employer doesn’t provide this notice then they must provide workers’ compensation coverage.
If you have been injured while working on agricultural or farming operations, knowing about the coverage exclusions and exceptions made by Nebraska law will empower you. That said, workers’ compensation law can certainly be complex and confusing. As always consult with an experienced attorney in the workers’ compensation field if you have any questions.