When it comes to workers' compensation insurance, small businesses always have plenty of questions and concerns. In this post, we will go over five things to know about small business workers' compensation.
1. Pay attention to the number of individuals on your payroll. In many states, exceptions to workers' compensation laws apply to employers who have a small number of employees, such as five or less employees. If you are under the minimum, you are not required to carry workers' compensation insurance. However, even if it is not required, you may want to provide it anyway for the benefit of your employees and the company.
2. Pay attention to the classification of individuals on your payroll. For example, not all employees are required to be covered under your small business workers' compensation program. Typically only full-time employees must be covered. Part-time employees, contractors and interns are often exempt.
3. If workers' compensation insurance is required, make sure you follow the law. Workers' compensation is required in all fifty states, though the specifics of the law vary state by state. In some states, workers' compensation is part of a statewide program, while in other states private insurers run the program. If you aren't sure how your state works, contact a local insurance agent or your state insurance commissioner.
4. Workers' compensation insurance works to your benefit. Yes, workers' compensation insurance protects employees from health costs resulting from work-related injuries. But small business workers' compensation also shields the company from lawsuits tied to expenses covered under the program.
5. Workers' compensation law covers most injuries that happen on the job, regardless of fault. An injury qualifies for workers' compensation if it happens "in the course and scope of employment." An employee can be solely responsible for an accident but still entitled to recovery workers' compensation benefits. Therefore, it is certainly worthwhile to have an ongoing safety training program in place to help prevent accidents.
If you have questions about workers' compensation for your business, check out the links below to learn more.
- Workers' Compensation for Employers (FindLaw)
- Workers' Compensation for Employers FAQs (FindLaw)
- Suggestions for Maintaining Workers' Comp Coverage Without Losing the Shirt Off Your Back (FindLaw)
- Workers' Compensation Overview (provided by Dugan & Associates, P.C.)
- Workers' Compensation: Duty to Notify (provided by Caroselli Beachler McTiernan & Conboy, L.L.C.)
- Workers' Comp FAQ (provided by The Epstein Law Firm, P.A.)