Employee Exceptions to the Worker's Compensation Act (Act)

Nearly all employers in Wisconsin are covered. This includes both public and private employers. In fact, when talking about worker's compensation, it is easier to discuss the exceptions.

There are a few classes of workers who are covered by federal laws and are not covered by the Act. Employees of the federal government (such as postal workers, employees at a veteran's administration hospital, or members of the armed forces) are covered by federal laws.

People who work on interstate railroads are covered by the Federal Employers Liability Act. Seamen on navigable waters are covered by the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, and people loading and unloading vessels are covered by the Longshoremen's and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act.

The only employee exceptions to the Wisconsin Worker's Compensation Act insurance requirement are domestic servants, some farm employees, volunteers, including volunteers of nonprofit organizations that receive money or other things of value totaling not more than $10.00 per week, and religious sect members that qualify and are certified for an exemption. Virtually all other workers and employers are subject to the Act. For a detailed explanation of these exceptions, please contact the Worker's Compensation Division, Bureau of Insurance Programs at (608) 266-1340.