Who needs Workers’ Compensation coverage?
- If you are in an industry, other than construction, and have four (4) or more employees, full-time or part-time, you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage (an exempted corporate officer does not count as an employee).
- If you are in the construction industry, and have one (1) or more employees (including yourself), you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage (an exempted corporate officer or member of a limited liability company does not count as an employee).
- If you are a state or local government, you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage.
- If you are a farmer, and have more than five (5) regular employees and/or twelve (12) or more other workers for seasonal agricultural labor lasting thirty (30) days or more, you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage.
Does the injured worker pay any part of my workers’ compensation insurance premium?
The law is very specific on this point. It is the employer’s responsibility to pay the entire premium for workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
What kinds of employee injuries are covered?
The law covers all accidental injuries and occupational diseases arising out of and in the course and scope of employment. This includes diseases or infections resulting from such injuries. The law also covers death resulting from such injuries within specified periods of time. Even if you do not think an injury is covered, you must still file the First Report of Injury or Illness (DWC-1) with your insurance carrier for determination of responsibility within 7 days of your first knowledge of the accident/injury.
What injuries are not covered?
The law does not provide compensation for the following conditions:
- a mental or nervous injury due to stress, fright, or excitement;
- a work related condition that causes an employee to have fear or dislike for another individual because of the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap;
- “pain and suffering” has never been compensable in Florida, nor is it compensable in any other state. The employer may not sue an injured worker for causing a catastrophe nor can the injured worker sue the employer for their injury. This trade-off makes it possible for injured workers to receive immediate medical care, at no cost to the injured worker, without any consideration for who was at fault, the employer or the employee. In civil law, negligence must be established through litigation before any compensation is awarded.
Is compensation payable if an employee refuses to use a safety appliance like a hard hat, safety goggles or observe a safety rule?
Compensation will still be paid, but indemnity benefits (partial wage replacement) may be reduced by 25 percent if the employee knew about the safety rule prior to the accident and failed to observe the rule, or if the employee knowingly chooses not to use a safety appliance which the employer has directed him to use.