Workers’ Compensation is insurance mandated to employers by the government in order to cover any work-related injuries to employees. Following are five facts about Worker’s Compensation that you may not have known:
- Sole Proprietors and Partners can elect to be included in their business’ worker’s compensation insurance.
Employers may choose to be included in their company’s worker’s compensation insurance, although this is an elective choice and is not required by law. Employers are required to be active in the business and have to inform their insurance carrier that they want to be covered. If the proprietor or partner decides to incorporate their business, then all employees are automatically covered by worker’s compensation insurance, including the proprietors and partners if they are technically employees of the company.
- Volunteers are not covered by Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
Volunteers are considered gratuitous employees; this means that they are not covered under the Worker’s Compensation Act. However, there is insurance coverage for volunteers if the employer elects to cover these individuals.
- An employer may not require employees to pay for worker’s compensation nor their own medical costs.
Employers are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance without applying the costs to the employee.
- In the case of disagreement between employer and employee, either party may request a hearing before a worker’s compensation commissioner.
In the case of a discrepancy between the employer and employee version of events, either party can request a hearing to work out the differences. Hearings are generally heard in the county where the injury occurred, and are facilitated by commissioners. First, a single commissioner takes each case, interviewing both parties and potentially approving settlements. If the parties still disagree with the settlement, they may appeal to the full commission and, if necessary, to a court system.
- Worker’s Compensation premiums are determined by a combination of factors.
The amount paid by employers is determined by the total wages of the company, the types of jobs performed by employees, and the employer’s history of accidents and claims. Ratings are assigned by insurance companies to various types of employment and jobs, and jobs with higher potential for injury are generally charged higher premiums. The workers’ compensation market is a competitive market, with multiple companies providing insurance options.