The first state workers' compensation law was passed by Wisconsin on May 3, 1911 and took effect on September 1, 1911. It “assured victims of work-related accidents or illnesses just compensation regardless of fault.” The landmark law followed years of effort to establish a workers' compensation law. Maryland was first, in 1902, followed by Massachusetts, Montana, and New York. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in March 1911 provided the impetus needed for more states to follow Wisconsin's lead, and by 1920, 42 states had enacted workers' compensation legislation. In 2011, we celebrated the 100th Anniversay of the Wisconsin Workmen’s Compensation Act.
This informative and interesting history of the development of Workers Compensation created by students at Nimitz High School, Houston Texas, for a National History Day contest. 2008. It is also presented on the Centennial website.