Dealing with worker’s comp can be stressful for everyone involved. Oftentimes, there has been an accident on the job, investigations have to be performed, and there may be some tension between employer and employee. Before settling a claim, here are the basics that must be understood about handling worker’s compensation.
Which Employers Need to Carry Worker’s Comp Insurance?
Every state except Texas requires employers to carry some form of worker’s comp insurance. State law governs an employer’s need to cover worker’s compensation insurance. Each state has different laws about what is and is not covered. However, you’ll find that many of the policies are the same from state to state. The main differences are specific procedural policies they need to follow.
Although private employers in Texas are not required to carry coverage, they are subject to reporting and notification requirements by law. In some states, certain business sectors may be exempt from carrying coverage as well. For instance, charities may not have to hold worker’s comp insurance. Some larger employers may insure themselves, but they will likely have to file paperwork with the state to be sure they meet self-insured requirements.
In short, you have to get to know exactly what the state you run your business in requires of you when it comes to worker’s compensation insurance.
What Happens When You Don’t Have Worker’s Compensation?
Failing to hold worker’s comp insurance can lead to big problems for your business if one of your employees gets hurt on the job. In many cases, the employee can sue the company in civil court for what they are owed in compensation. Employers who are not legally insured may also face some pretty steep fines and possibly even criminal charges.
What’s Covered By Worker’s Comp?
Worker’s comp will only cover illnesses and injuries that are a direct result of the employee’s job. This also covers injuries that may occur during work-related travel or during work events. More commonly, coverage includes cumulative trauma such as falling off scaffolding on the job. It will also cover illnesses that stemmed from prolonged exposure to things at work. For instance, workers who have been exposed to toxic chemicals that resulted in disease or cancer are often covered under worker’s comp.
Some injuries and illnesses may occur on the job that worker’s compensation does not cover, though. These things include self-inflicted injury, injuries resulting from a fight the employee started, or if the injury occurred while the employee was committing a serious crime.
When Can Employees Sue Employers?
Employees can bypass the worker’s comp system and sue them directly in court if they can prove that their employer intended to cause them harm. They can also sue if their employer has failed to carry the proper worker’s compensation coverage required by the state.
Employers’ Official Responsibilities Under Worker’s Comp
Under the worker’s compensation laws, each employer has a set of responsibilities they need to adhere to. These repsonibiltiies include:
- Posting notices about employees’ legal rights, including the right to receive medical care.
- Giving each employee details about worker’s compensation coverages provided by the employer.
- Providing information about the carrier of the employer’s worker’s comp insurer or stating that the employer is self-insured.
- Providing claim forms to injured employees.
Contact Our Team Today
Outsourcing your payrolling and staffing to an agency can help you mitigate worker’s compensation risks for your company. Contact us at GoSource to see how we might be able to help.