If you are starting a business, and you plan to hire employees, then you will be responsible for them in more ways than one. For example, as far as workers' compensation is concerned, your responsibilities include:
Hold Workers' Insurance
Almost all businesses in the United States are required by law to carry worker's compensation insurance for their employees. It doesn't matter whether you have a few employees or thousands of them; you need it. There are state laws governing the amount limits, duration of the payments, statute of limitations and generally how the funds are administered.
There are several consequences of not following these rules. For example, it is illegal have employees without providing them with workers' compensation insurance. Secondly, your employees may file lawsuits against your business if they get hurt and realize you don't have the coverage.
Help Your Employees Understand Their Rights
It is not enough that you have the coverage; you should also inform your employees about it. Do this by giving the information to all your new employees and posting notices at strategic locations in your business. Some of the information you are required to disseminate include details of the potential benefits, employees' rights to select their own doctors and the contacts of the insurance company providing your business with workers' compensation. Failure to do this may be viewed as trying to prevent your employees from filing claims (maybe in a bid to keep your premiums low?).
Provide Claim Forms
In case of an injury to one of your employees, you have the responsibility of providing him or her with the relevant claim form. In addition to the form, you should also supply the injured individual with written information about his or her rights as far as workers' compensation is concerned.
The information should contain the same information as that covered by the strategically placed notices described above, but in more detailed form. Essentially, they are meant to help him or her to understand his or her rights and file a valid claim. In fact, you must do this within 24 hours after receiving notice of the said injury.
Each jurisdiction has penalties for employers who do not comply with workers' compensation laws. For example, you may be faced with a monetary fine for each period (that can be per day, month or year) that you do not have the coverage. Failure to comply with your state's coverage laws for multiple periods may attract further civil and even criminal penalties.
To learn more, contact a company like Lipman Law Firm PC with any questions or concerns you have.