Nearly every business in the United States that has employees has to deal with the problem of workers’ compensation. Most states require employers to purchase an insurance policy to handle statutory obligations for workers who are injured or made ill due to workplace exposure. Whether your business is small or large, handling the expense and effort of meeting those statutory obligations is an ever-present challenge. U.S. law requires businesses to carry insurance for workers compensation, which provides benefits to your employees for work-related injury, disability, or disease.
In Florida or Massachusetts, all private sector employers (even with only one employee) are required to purchase workers compensation insurance or to qualify as self-insurers. Policies must cover employees from day one, except for seasonal and casual workers and part-time domestic workers, for whom workers compensation coverage is elective. A workplace notice must be posted with the insurer’s name; failure to insure is a criminal and civil offense. Penalties may include a stop work order, a fine of $100 per day, and imprisonment for up to one year.
Workers Compensation covers injuries of employees that occur on your business’s premises as well as anywhere else where the employee is performing duties for the business, for example, while driving or riding in a vehicle for business purposes. Generally speaking, sole proprietors and partnerships aren’t required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance unless or until they add employees who are not owners. Most states will allow sole proprietors and partners to cover themselves for workers’ compensation on a voluntary basis, but it isn’t required.