Florida businesses must cover all employees under Worker compensation without exception. However, business owners can apply for exemptions, which must be renewed every two years. The rules are somewhat complex, so any individuals who are uncertain about whether or not they must be covered should make every effort to learn what regulations apply to them. If your employer cannot answer your questions, you may want to seek advice from an attorney who focuses on the Florida Worker compensation system.
While construction businesses must operate under different rules, all non-construction business employees must be covered without exception as long as their companies have at least four employees. Business owners generally are automatically covered under Worker compensation as well. Depending on the type of business structure, exemptions can apply as follows:
- Officers of corporations can apply for exemptions without limits. In other words, corporations can choose to exempt all officers.
- Owners of Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) are now considered employees since the Florida legislature passed CS/HB941 into law and it took effect (as of July 1, 2013). They can apply for exemptions, subject to certain limitations.
- Sole proprietors and partners represent an exception to the rule. The law automatically excludes them from Worker compensation coverage. These business owners do have the right to opt for coverage by filing the right election paperwork with the Division of Worker Compensation, and they can later return to exclusion by filing the paperwork that revokes the prior election.
In the event that business owners sustain workplace injuries, they may not know with certainty if they qualify for Worker compensation benefits. An experienced Worker compensation attorney knows how to use official resources to check into the status of any employee, saving exempt employees time and trouble while protecting the rights of qualified workers.
Whether an employee experiences a challenge with a claim or just needs to verify the rules and procedures under Florida law, a skilled Worker compensation lawyer can be a vital resource for information and a valuable legal advocate.