Generally, workers’ compensation laws are enacted by state rather than federal legislatures. This does not mean that state workers’ compensation laws do not apply to federal employers. As noted in a recent ruling issued by the United State Supreme Court, however, a state workers’ compensation statute cannot treat the federal government or its contractors less favorably than state employers. If you were injured while working for the federal government, you may be owed workers’ compensation benefits, and you should consult a Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.
History of the Case
It is alleged that in 2018, a state passed a workers’ compensation law that applied only to specific workers at a federal facility within the state who worked, either directly or indirectly, for the United States. The facility in question used to manufacture nuclear weapons but was in the process of being decontaminated. Most of the workers involved in the cleanup process were federal contractors or employees.
The United States brought a lawsuit against the state on the grounds that the law in question was unconstitutional. Specifically, the United States argued that it discriminated against the federal government in violation of the Supremacy Clause because it made it easier for federal workers to establish their right to workers’ compensation benefits, thereby increasing the government’s costs. The court found in favor of the state, and the United States appealed. Continue reading →