Workers’ compensation is something that we all know exists, but many people don’t seek to understand it until they need it. There are several misconceptions about workers’ compensation for business owners that are very common.
Myth #1: Independent contractors do not have to be covered by the business’ workers’ compensation insurance.
Some jurisdictions exempt businesses from providing workers’ compensation for independent contractors. However, in most states, it is against the law to wrongly classify employees as independent contractors with the intent to avoid specific payroll taxes and paying higher insurance premiums. If you are unsure of how to classify your workers, it is best to seek legal counsel.
Myth #2: If an employee is injured on the job, the business owner can automatically choose their medical provider. The injured employee has no say in the independent medical examination process.
This varies from state to state. In some states, the employee that has injured may see a doctor that the employer chooses or one that the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier chooses. In other states, the injured employee may select any doctor within a network. Employers and employees have several rights related to the medical examination process. Again, it is best for a business to seek clarity from the employer’s insurance provider and legal counsel before any workplace accident occurs.
Myth #3: Workers’ compensation insurance only covers treatment.
It is very important for an injured employee to have adequate medical attention immediately following an on-the-job injury. It is also important for the employer to immediately report the employee’s injury to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Workers’ compensation insurance typically covers both medical consultations and treatment.
Myth #4: I can terminate an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
An employer cannot terminate an employee in retaliation for filing a claim.
Myth #5: If the employee is injured or becomes ill outside of the physical job site, workers’ compensation does not cover them.
If the employee is injured or illness is sustained during the course of performing any required job duties, workers’ compensation likely covers this. Special examination may be required in order to determine eligibility. The full scope of what may happen is based on the specific rules of the state.
The Kendrick Law Group recognizes how important it is for businesses to ensure that their workers’ compensation policies are compliant. We also understand the importance of employees understanding their rights under workers’ compensation. Whether you’re an employee who is seeking to determine how workers’ compensation will help you following an injury at work or an employer seeking to make workers’ compensation work for your business, Kendrick Law Group wants to assist you in navigating compliance within your state in an effort to untangle these misconceptions. Give us a call today 407-641-5847.
Co-written by: Kirsten Williams, Law Clerk