Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurance Policy for Companies with Undocumented Employees
Workers’ compensation insurance covers the costs that are incurred when an employee is injured while working. In Florida, companies and contractors that do construction-related work must have workers’ compensation insurance if they have at least one employee, while those who do agricultural work must have a policy if they have six or more full-time employees or 12 or more season workers; this applies to all employees, including those who are undocumented.
The penalties for failing to have workers’ compensation insurance can be severe. If you are a construction- or agriculture-related business in Florida, you shouldn’t risk working without providing workers’ compensation insurance for your employees. NPN Brokers can provide companies with workers’ compensation insurance policies quickly and at an affordable rate; get in touch with them today by calling (866) 340-9120.
Why Your Company Needs Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Undocumented Workers
Rule 69L-6.021 in the Florida Administrative Code states that any company that is in a construction-related field and employs at least one person must provide workers’ compensation insurance. The classification of being “construction-related” is a broad category that includes landscapers, carpenters, wallpaper hangers, roofers, electricians, and many more. Note that this requirement applies only to the field of construction; companies that are in the agricultural industry are required to provide workers’ compensation policies to employees if they employ at least six people, while companies that are in neither the construction industry nor the agricultural industry must provide workers’ compensation insurance if they employ at least four people.
The requirement that companies provide workers’ compensation insurance to employees in a construction-related field applies to all workers, even those that are undocumented. The Florida statute regarding workers’ compensation states that an employee is someone who receives compensation for their work and “includes but is not limited to aliens and minors.” This statute has been interpreted by courts to hold employers accountable for paying for workers’ compensation insurance when they hire undocumented workers.
While undocumented workers are entitled to workers’ compensation insurance, there are a few things that both undocumented workers and the employers that hire them should be aware of. Firstly, undocumented workers should be aware that providing a fake Social Security number to the insurance company will give them a reason to deny your claim entirely. Secondly, undocumented workers will not be able to receive workers’ compensation insurance if they are paid in cash, since the workers’ compensation statute requires earnings to be reported.
All employees, both documented and undocumented, are prevented from claiming workers’ compensation benefits if their injuries happen under certain conditions. If the employee failed to observe necessary safety rules, failed to wear the required safety equipment, was intoxicated, or was under the influence of an illegal substance, then they will not be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits. They will also be ineligible to receive benefits if it is apparent that their injury was self-inflicted.
Penalties for Not Having Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Florida employs workers’ compensation investigators to monitor the status of policies held by construction-related companies. If the investigators find that a company does not have a workers’ compensation policy for its employees, the state may subject that company to severe penalties.
Companies that fail to provide workers’ compensation policies for their employees in Florida may be faced with the following penalties:
- Litigation over injuries suffered by employees: When employers do not have a workers’ compensation policy, injured employees may sue their employers for compensation for their injuries.
- Large fines: If a company does not provide workers’ compensation insurance for employees, the State of Florida may fine them either $1,000 or twice the amount in premiums that the company should have paid.
- Loss of the right to conduct business in Florida: If companies do not have workers’ compensation insurance, they may be issued a stop-work order by the state, which will require them to cease all business operations until they come into compliance with the Florida code regarding workers’ compensation insurance.
Employers should note that it is not advisable to attempt to avoid paying for workers’ compensation by claiming that an employee is an independent contractor. This can result in a fine of $5,000 and may also result in a fraud charge, which can be cause for imprisonment. Employers can also face criminal charges and/or civil actions for failing to report employee injuries, taking actions to prevent employees from receiving workers’ compensation benefits, and retaliating against employees that file claims.
Determining the Price of Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Prices for workers’ compensation policies are based on a combination of three factors: the degree of risk associated with the industry, the number of employees that are on the company’s payroll, and the experience modification factor of the company, which is based on the number of claims that have been filed by the company in the past.
Companies that are interested in getting a workers’ compensation insurance policy can get a free quote from the NPN Brokers website. Simply enter basic information about your business and employees, and you can receive a quote from NPN within minutes.
What Are the Penalties for Not Having Coverage?
Failing to secure workers’ compensation insurance for your business can cause the Florida authorities to level some steep penalties against your company. The typical fine for a company caught without a policy is double what the policy’s premiums would have cost over the period on which they were uninsured, up to two years; the minimum penalty for this is $1,000.
The government can also issue a stop-work order against you, which means that you cannot legally operate your business until you secure the necessary insurance coverage and pay all applicable fines and fees. Ignoring one of these orders is not recommended; the cost of a violation is $1,000 for each day you operated illegally. Also consider the fact that being forced to cease work in the midst of a job will only hurt your business’s reputation.
Additional infractions can add to those consequences and could even result in jail time. Falsifying statements, misrepresenting employees, deducting money from employees’ wages to pay workers’ comp premiums, and failing to report injuries are all forms of insurance fraud and can lead to felony charges if severe enough.
Options for Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Insurance
A business owner who wants to find a workers’ compensation policy has a few options. The most straightforward avenue is simply reaching out to an insurance carrier directly. For some companies, this may be the best option, but any business whose employees operate in a potentially dangerous environment – a roofing company, for instance – may have a hard time convincing a carrier to sell them a policy; a newly established company that lacks a history of safe workplaces or paid premiums could have the same issue.
If the traditional option is closed to you, know that you have another option: a professional employer organization, or PEO. These business entities handle a portion of your administrative tasks and extend workers’ compensation insurance to your employees at a reduced rate.
Get a Workers’ Compensation Policy, Even if You Employ Undocumented Workers
NPN Brokers is able to provide affordable and comprehensive workers’ compensation policies for companies with undocumented workers in Florida, regardless of whether or not their employees are documented. If you would like to receive a workers’ compensation policy quote from NPN, get in touch with us at your earliest convenience by calling (866) 340-9120 or visiting us online today.
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