As a business owner, you have countless things to manage and worry about day-to-day. Advertising, marketing, good customer service, supply and demand, finding a place to set up shop — the list goes on.
But as you deal with some of the more obvious areas that you need to tend to in growing your business, don’t neglect to get yourself and your employees. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “is workers comp required in my situation?”, then this article is for you.
Read on to learn some of the lesser-known facts surrounding workers’ compensation to help you make a decision:
The Employer Has a Duty Beyond Paying the Worker’s Comp
Employers have responsibility for the well-being of their employees that have been injured on the job, even after the workers’ comp has been paid. It’s in the employer’s best interest to remain in contact and stay up to date with their employee during the recovery process. By doing so, they can better gauge when their employee is able to come back to work and resume their duties.
Some employers implement “return-to-work” programs to help their employees better make the transition back after injury. Having such programs in place can reduce the number of days lost and can boost productivity as well.
As an employer, you might want to consider the benefits of having a return-to-work program put into play. You might find that doing so will reduce lost wages overall.
Is Workers Comp Required? It’s Not Just for Large Companies
Laws vary state to state, but in many states, all a company needs is one employee to be required to carry workers’ compensation. So if you’ve been wondering, “is workers comp required?” as you grow your business, the first step would be to check with your state laws.
Even if your state doesn’t require workers’ comp in your situation, most experts still recommend having workers’ compensation no matter what the state requires.
Should an incident ever occur on your company premises, having workers’ comp insurance in place could end up saving you thousands of dollars.
Workers’ Comp Fraud Is a Possibility
Though most workers’ compensation claims are true, there are still a significant number of claims that are fraudulent. This is why it’s so important as an employer to be aware and to protect yourself with quality insurance. Fraud can impact your business in a big way and cost you a lot of money. Stay protected with the right insurance.
Employees Can Collect Benefits Even If the Injury Was Partially Their Fault
Still wondering, “Is workers’ comp required?” Well, take into consideration that employees can usually still claim benefits even if the workplace accident was a result of some carelessness on their part.
The few instances in which an employee can’t claim workers’ comp is if the injury was the result of them being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while on the job.
1099 Employees Might Have Issues
There are many small businesses that mistakenly assume that as long as they have their employees claim that they are an independent contractor and fill out a 1099, they won’t be required to carry workers’ comp insurance.
This can spell trouble, however. Any worker that is going to work as an independent contractor has to meet specific criteria to pass as such. Should the IRS discover that you have some employees that are classified as independent contractors that are actually normal employees, you could face penalties.
If one of your employees is injured on the job, and they were incorrectly classified as a 1099 employee, and you’re without workers’ comp, there will be tax issues and possible criminal charges.
Make sure you cover your bases. Only allow true independent contractors to fill out 1099 forms. Should you have any regular employees, even one, you want to look into having workers’ compensation.
Sometimes Employees Can Collect Even If Not at Work When Injured
Laws that govern workers’ compensation situations vary by state. For the most part, however, employees are usually covered by insurance any time they are injured performing a job within their regular scope of duties. This includes duties that an employee might perform as part of their job description that isn’t specifically on company premises.
So if you send some of your employees on a business trip and they’re injured at a hotel, or if they are running an errand on the company’s behalf and are injured while doing so, workers’ compensation should still come into play.
But what many employees don’t realize is that workers’ comp might not cover them if they’re injured during a break, even if that injury occurs on company property.
It’s important that employers and employees alike understand the rules and exceptions surrounding their workers’ compensation. Doing so will protect everyone involved.
Hopefully, this article has helped to answer your question, “is workers comp required for me and my business?” Again, many factors come into play, but by and large, you’re better off protecting yourself and your employees by having some form of workers’ comp insurance in place.
This is where we come in and are happy to help. We’ve been helping business owners and employers get the right workers’ compensation packages that work for their needs and their budgets.
We invite you to contact us today to learn more about our service and why having workers’ compensation insurance is so important for you. We look forward to hearing from you!