Do Baseball Players Receive Worker Compensation?

Worker Compensation

Worker Compensation

Do baseball players receive worker compensation?  It might sound like a crazy question – but lets face it, injuries and baseball go hand in hand.  If you are an athlete who competes at a professional level, you likely know this to be true.  That being said, one must take into account some basic principals before determining whether a baseball player can receive work comp.

First, what is this thing called worker compensation?  In general, worker compensation is a monetary benefit for injured workers (employees), which is paid through an insurance policy owned by the worker’s employer.  The intent of worker compensation is to help an injured worker recover from their injury until they are able to return to work.  Whether recovery means health care or a monetary benefit depends on the severity of the injury.

Yes, there are rules that govern worker compensation benefits.  In fact, there are two categories of rules for worker compensation:  Federal Work Comp and State specific Work Comp.  Federal Work Comp rules are limited to federal employees.  As a result, this leaves us with State specific rules for Work Comp.  What makes worker compensation benefits complicated is the following:  rules governing worker compensation benefits are different in every State.  In other words, the worker compensation rules in California are different than the worker compensation rules in Missouri and vice verse.

Baseball Players Receive Worker Compensation

Second, a baseball player’s employer (the Team) is subject to the rules applicable to where the baseball player plays their games versus the physical location of their assigned Team.  Likely, the baseball player plays games for their designated team in multiple cities and States.  So, if a baseball player signed a contract to play for the Minnesota Millers but was injured while playing a game in Orlando, Florida, depending on the rules in Florida, it is very likely a worker compensation issue, if there was indeed a claim, would be governed by the rules in Florida.

Third, it is very common for baseball players to remain employed while they recover from an injury.  For example, a Major League Baseball Player who is has a significant injury will likely be played on a disabled list until they recover from their injury.  Even though the baseball player is unable to perform and placed on a disabled list, they are likely ineligible for worker compensation benefits unless their baseball contract is terminated.

As a general rule, Major League Baseball has rules that support injured baseball players from having their contract terminated upon becoming injured.  This is one of many advantages to a union and a collective bargaining agreement.  On the other hand, a baseball player playing baseball for an independent baseball team might not have the support of a union.  For situations similar to this, a worker compensation policy may help the baseball player get acclimated back into the workforce.  However, this implies the rules for that particular State do not specifically exclude professional athletes.

As you can tell, the question of whether a baseball player can collect worker compensation is much more complicated than yes or no.  If you are a baseball player and you are needing support on this topic, please consider contacting Royal Sports Group, LLC for help.