If you are injured on the job or because of your employer’s negligence, you may qualify for a remedy through your state’s workers’ compensation laws. Each state has its own Workers’ Compensation Board, which can provide employers and employees with specific information about their respective rights and regulations.
Variances in Workers Compensation Laws by State
Below are some of the common variances in workers compensation laws and some of the states where they apply.
1. Family Matters
Some states exempt family members of business owners from workers compensation coverage, but some do not. California requires employers to obtain workers compensation for all employees – including family members.
2. Exemptions for Small Employers
Several states make exceptions for certain smaller employers. Florida, for instance does not require employers with less than four regular employees to carry workers compensation insurance. Florida makes an exception to this rule for the construction industry, which must provide workers compensation coverage regardless of the number of employees. It is quite common for states to require coverage to be carried by any employer, regardless of the number of employees.
3. Industry Variances By State
Texas allows most employers to choose whether to obtain workers’ compensation insurance, but it requires such insurance in cases where a business secures construction contracts with government entities. Some states provide exemptions from liability for the agricultural industry, but in Pennsylvania, those who work in agriculture are protected by worker’s compensation laws. Some states also have exemptions for some domestic employees, such as Connecticut, which exempts domestic employees who work less than 26 hours per week. In Pennsylvania, on the other hand, domestic employees are entitled for compensation if they are injured on the job.
4. Self-Insured Options
Pennsylvania and New Jersey are among the states which offer employers the right to self-insure. However, each of these states has specific qualifications that must be met in order for an employer to be approved for the self-insured option.
5. Coverage of Subcontractors
In many states, an employer’s workers compensation insurance must cover subcontractors or independent contractors working for them as well as employees. New York law includes exemptions for several kinds of independent contractors, including those who work in real estate, media sales and insurance.
The key is to never make assumptions when it comes to workers compensation laws by state. Also check with your insurance carrier and/or the Workers Compensation Board of the state where your employees are performing their work.