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Federal Employers Liability Act Fela

Definition of "Federal employers liability act (fela)"

Federal law comparable to state workers compensation statutes setting out liability of railroads for work-related injuries or death of their employees. Railroad employees are not covered by workers compensation laws. Under normal tort law, the injured party must prove he or she did nothing to contribute to the negligence or the risk. But under the terms of the federal act, railroad employees must only show that negligence on the part of the employer contributed to the injury. Therefore, this law gives railroads responsibility for on-the-job injuries to employees. But the railroads are not protected by the theory that workers compensation should be the only responsibility of employers for their employees, or by the prescribed schedule of benefits.

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