Misconceptions About Workers’ Compensation

In most states, small business owners are required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance for their employees to cover medical care, rehabilitation and wage replacement costs in case an employee becomes injured or sick on the job. Specific rules can vary from state to state, but the following are the general questions most commonly asked by business owners:

    • Are independent contractors covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance?

Some businesses are exempt from providing Workers’ Compensation insurance for independent contractors, but the government does not allow companies to misclassify employees as independent contractors just to avoid paying additional payroll taxes or a higher insurance premium.

    • Who chooses the employee’s medical provider?

This varies state to state. In some states an injured worker must be seen by a doctor chosen by the employer or the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier. In other states, workers are able to choose their own medical provider within a network.

    • Does Workers’ Compensation insurance cover medical consultations and treatment?

The answer is it covers both. Immediate medical attention is crucial after a workplace accident and a worker’s initial medical consultation will help dictate the right course of action.

    • Can I terminate the employment of a worker who files a Workers’ Compensation claim?

The answer is no. An employee cannot be terminated in retaliation for a Workers’ Compensation claim.

    • Does Workers’ Compensation insurance cover injuries or illnesses that occur outside of the job site or employee workplace?

Workers’ Compensation covers injuries or illnesses that were sustained during the performance of required job-related duties. Checking with your insurance carrier will give you more information about the rules that apply in your state.

If you have been injured or harmed in the performance of your job-related duties, it is important to contact an attorney who understands the Workers’ Compensation laws in your state, especially if your injuries or illness are serious and will have repercussions as you move on with your life. Contact the attorneys at Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. We have helped hundreds of victims of employment-related accidents and illnesses and we can help you too. Call us at 800-529-2676 or email [email protected]