Workers’ compensation. Every employer’s favorite topic (insert eye roll here). Everyone needs it. Few understand it. In simple terms, workers’ compensation insurance is insurance to cover your employees in the event they are injured on the job. It covers both the cost of their injuries and any lost wages that occur. Whether you are hiring your first employee or an additional employee, here are a few things you need to know.
1. You Need a Policy
This is not optional if you have employees, even just one. State law requires that you have workers’ comp to protect your employees. As a business owner, you also want one. Why? A worker’s compensation policy protects you just as much as it protects your employees. You can face penalties, lawsuits and even the forced closure of your business if you don’t.
2. Post Notices and Let Employees Know of Their Legal Rights
There are certain required posters and notices that have to be placed in areas that your employees frequent. These posters contain pertinent information that your employees need. This information also has to be given to your employees as part of their Employee Notice given to them with their new hire paperwork.
Information to be included on posters:
- Name of your company’s workers’ compensation carrier (If self-insured that should be stated on the poster along with who is responsible for claims adjustment.)
- Details about workers’ compensation benefits
- Rights of the employee to receive medical treatment and choose or change doctors.
3. Know How to Process a Worker’ Compensation Claim
What?? That’s right, you are now responsible for following up on claims of injured employees. This could mean making sure they get the medical attention needed, making sure the necessary tests are conducted at the time of treatment, filing the claim with your insurance, providing modified duty and following up with the employee, doctor and your insurance carrier.
Workers’ compensation insurance is one of the biggest costs to your business but knowing what you’re doing can help you keep your costs down. Like all insurance policies, if your business has a lot of claims it will be considered higher risk and your costs will go up. It can be complicated and most employers benefit greatly from having someone else manage it for them.
This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created between the author and reader of this blog post, and its content should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are urged to consult legal counsel when seeking legal advice.
There is a whole list of to do items when dealing with employees. Check out our Employer’s Guide to Hiring Your First Employee.