Understanding Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Laws
Whether you are an employer or an employee in Florida, you need to understand the state’s workers’ compensation laws so that you know what your responsibilities and rights are. If you are an employer and have not taken the appropriate steps to meet the legal requirements, you could put your entire business in jeopardy if one of your workers is injured on the job. If you are an employee, you need to understand your rights under the law so that you can be fairly compensated if you are injured while working. In either scenario, working with an experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorney can help you better understand the laws and how they apply to your case.
In Florida, all businesses are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance if they have four or more employees, whether they are full-time or part-time workers. Executive officers and managers count as employees unless they have been granted a special exemption.
Business owners in the construction industry can apply for an exemption for themselves and must pay $50 for the privilege. If the exemption is granted, it must be renewed every two years. Construction industry corporations can also exempt up to three of the officers, as long as the officers own at least 10 percent of the stock in the company. An LLC can exempt up to three owners using the same criteria. Sole proprietors cannot exempt themselves.
Corporations that are not in the construction industry can exempt all their officers, no matter the number. There is no fee for this exemption like there is for construction workers. LLC owners can also apply for an exemption. Sole proprietors of businesses outside the construction industry are excluded from purchasing workers’ compensation. If they want to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, they must apply to do so.
Workers’ compensation insurance pays for the medical care of employees who are injured on the job, and it provides some lost wages. The coverage also provides payment for those who have become ill as a result of workplace conditions, such as exposure to hazardous chemicals, and it provides payment for the families of those who have died as a result of injury or illness at work.
Florida workers’ compensation laws also protect workers against retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation suit.
The awarding of workers’ compensation benefits is contingent upon a number of criteria, including reporting the illness or injury within 30 days and undergoing an independent medical examination. Florida is a no-fault state for workers’ compensation claims, so employees do not have to prove fault in order to qualify for benefits.
Despite the clear mandate for workers’ compensation coverage and the awarding of benefits, many employers try to find ways around carrying the coverage or awarding the benefits to keep their costs low. An experienced Florida workers’ compensation lawyer can help employees get the benefits to which they are entitled so that they can get the medical care they need and continue to provide financially for their families.
The Florida workers’ compensation attorney at the Rooth Law Firm has been fighting for justice on behalf of injured workers in Florida for many years. We are dedicated to getting you the full compensation that the law provides for your injuries. We help you understand Florida’s workers’ compensation laws and your rights, and help you get the full benefits you deserve. Call us today at (727) 849-3400, or contact us online to find out how our knowledgeable Florida workers’ compensation attorney can help you.