In 2011, we celebrate the workers compensation insurance system as it reaches its centennial mark in the United States. The workers comp system was born in 1911 when nine states began adopting laws requiring companies to compensate workers for on-the-job injuries in exchange for workers foregoing their right to sue. Employers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of Wisconsin (later known as Wausau Insurance) wrote the first policy for the Wausau Sulphate and Fibre Company (later known as Mosinee Paper Corp. and now as Wausau Paper) on September 1, 1911.
On the 50th anniversary of workers comp coverage in 1961, President John F. Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and Wisconsin Gov. Gaylord Nelson joined the U.S. Postmaster General to memorialize the 50th anniversary of the workers compensation system by unveiling a commemorative postage stamp. Although the U.S. Postal Service will not be offering a centennial stamp to honor the workers’ compensation centennial in 2011, efforts are underway to encourage national leaders to participate in some sort of national observance of the centennial. For more information about the 100 year anniversary, visit www.workerscomp100.org