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Very Basic WC Question Florida

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  • Very Basic WC Question Florida

    This seems to be so basic, I am almost embarassed to ask, but I think I am having trouble finding an answer simply because it *is* so basic.

    In the State of Florida, for a staff higher than 50, are you required to have Workers Comp insurance and if you don't, 1.) what agency would regulate this and 2.) what recourse would an employee have who is injured while the company has no coverage?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    WC insurance requirements vary by state.

    Maine requires it of virtually every employer, with some specific exceptions such as employers of domestic help and those in agriculture or aquaculture having six or fewer employees.

    I doubt that a company with over 50 employees can be exempt from the requirement to have WC insurance, except in Texas (the only state where coverage is optional).

    An injured employee, if the company has been dumb enough to forego WC insurance, can sue.

    The company could also expect difficulties (fines) for not providing statutory coverage.
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      I won't go into court and swear to this, but I believe that in Florida, all employers of four or more employees are required to have workers comp insurance. While I could be wrong about the specific number, it is definitely a single-digit number. If you're in double digits and you don't have workers comp insurance, you're in violation of the law.

      If I'm not mistaken, the Division of Workforce Innovation handles workers comp claims in Florida.

      If you have an injured employee and you do not have workers comp insurance, you can count on being sued (and you will lose).
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

      Comment


      • #4
        Straight from the state website http://www.fldfs.com/WC/faq/faqemplyrs.html#1

        Q: Who needs Workers' Compensation coverage?

        A:

        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.
        If you have additional questions, contact the Customer Service Unit at (850)413-1601.

        Reference: Section 440.02(17), Florida Statutes.


        Q: If I suspect an employer should have Workers' Compensation insurance coverage, but does not, or if I suspect fraudulent activity in a workers' compensation claim, where do I report this?

        A: Suspected workers' compensation fraud can be reported directly to the Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Workers' Compensation Fraud, 200 E. Gadsden Street, Suite 100A, Tallahassee, Florida 32301, or to the bureau's toll free hotline number at 1-800-378-0445. Suspected fraud can also be reported to the Florida Workers' Compensation, Bureau of Compliance's toll free hotline at 1-800-742-2214. Anonymous calls are accepted. You can also fill out the Non-Compliance Referral Form to report employer's who do not have workers' compensation insurance coverage. This form can be accessed at the Division's website at www.fldfs.com/wc/databases.html.

        Reference: Section 440.1051, Florida Statutes
        Last edited by ElleMD; 05-08-2007, 04:50 PM.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you very much for the information and links. <sigh!> Why hire an HR Mgr if you won't listen to the advice they give?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ckwallace View Post
            Why hire an HR Mgr if you won't listen to the advice they give?
            So that there will be someone to blame when the stuff hits the fan.
            Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

            Comment


            • #7
              yes, that's it exactly! lol!

              Comment


              • #8
                BTDT. It's not a fun place to be.
                The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ckwallace View Post
                  Thank you very much for the information and links. <sigh!> Why hire an HR Mgr if you won't listen to the advice they give?
                  Believe you me, I can sympathize right now. Sometimes all you can do is point folks in the right direction, document that you have done so, and let the chips fall where they may. Whether you report your employer anonymously or not is up to you. If this isn't the only issue, it may be worth dusting off the old resume. While ignoring the advise when that advice isn't what one wants to hear isn't exactly unique among employers, if you find yourself constantly beating your head against the wall at every turn to remain compliant with the law, it's time to find greener pastures elsewhere.
                  I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Are you really showing them the law that says they have to have w.c. coverage, and they are ignoring you? Make a printout of this page, because as said above, if any employee gets hurt, and they do not have w.c. coverage, they will and thier property insurance company will be sued, because it happened on thier property. They will lose a great deal more than just the premiums they would have to pay to avoid this! It is like a person driving with no car insurance, they may say "nothing has happened in 2 years, and look at what I have saved". Then the enivitable happens, someone hits them, not even thier fault, but since they did not have coverage, they legally should not have been on the road, and all of a sudden, they are getting sued, and on top of that medical bills. It is not pretty. I would also send them this information certified, so if they say they were not aware of it, or you were not doing your job, you have a signature saying you did, and it was ignored!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The company recently bought the business where I work and I have been asking them about WC carrier since the take-over. When we had our first injury I reported it to get our provider (information I had still not been provided) and I had to wait for the corporate office to get back with me. By the time they did the EE had seen their own Dr. Fine, I'm still reporting it and seeing what I can do. I contact the carrier directly (when I finally get the name and policy #) only to find that the policy was put in place 5 days after the injury. So, since I have not received any evidence to the contrary, I have to assume they did not have a policy prior to that.

                      Unfortunately, due to my personal circumstance, it is actually better for me to stick things out here for the time-being, but believe me, I have taken steps to document my due diligence in this and other situations. However, it does give me a "Ace in the Hole" should I need it in the future.

                      Thanks for all of the responses and links. I have bookmarked and printed for reference and documentation.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Turbowray- Not quite how it works. Property insurance is NOT a fall back to WC. There are penalties in place for employers who fail to secure coverage but you are off base on what those are.

                        See sections 440.11 and 440.107 to start.
                        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am so surprised to read all this. I am located in Jacksonville, FL. Companies that are reported not having WC coverage are locked down FAST, just like the ones that pass bad payroll checks. They don't play around. Also, depending on the kind of business you are in, your vendors and/or customers generally will demand copies of your certificates to make sure you have the WC coverage, not just GL or Property.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
                            Turbowray- Not quite how it works. Property insurance is NOT a fall back to WC. There are penalties in place for employers who fail to secure coverage but you are off base on what those are.

                            See sections 440.11 and 440.107 to start.
                            Sorry ElleMD, I had been given the false impression from someone that property insurance can be billed, if there is no other coverage when someone gets hurt on thier property. Thank you for setting my record straight!! What does happen when one does not have WC? Other than fines, can you go after them personally for everything that WC would normally offer. I figure I need to hear this from you, because I trust your knowledge on this subject (and many many others) Thanks again, sorry poster for posting something that was NOT accurate!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
                              Turbowray- Not quite how it works. Property insurance is NOT a fall back to WC. There are penalties in place for employers who fail to secure coverage but you are off base on what those are.

                              See sections 440.11 and 440.107 to start.
                              OOPS, I see where you showed me the sections to start looking myself, thanks again! I will start reading!

                              Comment

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