In Florida, it is essential for most businesses and companies is to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage to protect their employees from medical bills, lost wages, and other unexpected expenses resulting from injuries sustained on the job. Your employer may need to file for an exemption with the state if they are not required to provide workers’ compensation coverage. What is workers’ compensation exemption, and how does it affect your injury or accident at work?
Florida’s workers’ compensation lawyers from Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A., are dedicated to getting maximum benefits for injured workers. If you have questions about your next course of action since you’re injured on the job, you can get a free consultation when you contact their workers’ compensation lawyers today. They will act on your behalf through aggressive representation and switch action.
Employers’ Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirements in Florida
Requirements for workers’ compensation coverage differ among businesses. For instance, construction industry employees tend to be much more at risk when it comes to the on-the-job injury. As such, even if a construction company has one employee, the state of Florida requires construction companies to provide coverage for their employees. A company needs to provide worker’s compensation insurance coverage if such an employer is:
- A farmer with 12 or more seasonal workers and about 5 regular employees that work for 30 days or more annually
- A local or state government
- Having one or more employees in the construction industry
- In an industry other than construction with four or more full-time employees
Businesses get incentives from Florida officials to reduce the risk of lawsuits against business owners and keep employees safe. Thus, your small business insurance can:
- Comply with applicable worker’s comp laws
- Compensate for legal costs if your employee files a lawsuit connected to a work illness or injury
- Include medical expenses and lost wages if an employee is injured
Numbers of Employees Required for Florida Workers’ Compensation
According to Florida law, workers’ compensation insurance coverage is required when a company has four or more employees, either part-time or full-time. Some employees have specific unique considerations, including corporate officers:
- The requirement for construction businesses is to provide workers’ compensation insurance for every employee, including contractors. There’s an exemption for up to 3 corporate officers if each can demonstrate ownership of at least 10 percent of the company.
- The law excludes sole proprietors and partners automatically from workers’ compensation. However, they can file for the election of coverage to purchase coverage.
If you have part-time employees, you may need to provide workers’ compensation as an employer. Independent contractors are not considered employees; unless they are in the construction industry, an employer has no obligation to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
You will get a detailed explanation of the process of electing to be exempt from worker’s compensation coverage in Florida statue 440.5. Your employers must notify the state if their company or business cannot provide workers’ compensation coverage because it is small enough to be within limits. The necessary step is for an officer of the company to register the business formally with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, to register as a workers’ compensation exemption. The company needs to pay a $50 fee used for conducting audits if they are not in the construction injury.
The Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation ensures that employers are providing workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employees that are qualified to receive it through field inspections. If companies don’t follow the appropriate protocol for worker’s compensation exemption, they can be fined even if they are required to have worker’s compensation coverage.
What Are Your Penalties If You Don’t Have Workers’ Compensation in Florida?
When employers operate without the required worker’s compensation coverage, they risk civil penalties. And until such companies comply with the law and pay the penalty, they would typically be subject to a stop-work order. Usually, the business would pay twice the amount of money it would have paid in premium for the preceding two-year period.
A company may be charged with a criminal lawsuit if it doesn’t comply with a stop-work order. Some of the conditions that warrant a stop-work order include:
- An attempt to avoid paying workers’ compensation premiums
- Misrepresentation or concealing of employees’ duties
- Concealed or understated payroll
How Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. Can Help
At times, you may find workers’ compensation law quite unclear and complicated. A worker’s comp lawyer like Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. will give you details about the requirement of your employer to protect you with a policy of workers’ compensation insurance and explain the system to you in clear terms.
Employers and employees must have a clear understanding of the workers’ compensation exemption. Call Florida’s workers’ compensation lawyers at Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. today to discuss your on-the-job injury during a free consultation with an experienced attorney. When you talk to these efficient lawyers today, they will help you recover the most benefits you can under Florida’s workers’ compensation system.