Penalties for Not Having Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Georgia

If you do not comply with Georgia’s requirements for Workers’ Compensation insurance, your company may face steep penalties.

Georgia imposes financial and criminal penalties on employers that do not have Workers’ Compensation insurance. Per non-compliance violation, employers might get a financial penalty of up to $5,000. Willful non-compliance over a period of time might even result in jail time for employers. Interfering in a Workers’ Compensation claim can also lead to financial penalties from the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. If uncovered, employers in Georgia may be liable for an injured worker’s damages. These consequences can be avoided by getting the proper Workers’ Compensation insurance in Georgia.

Call the Georgia small business workers’ compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers at (561) 990-3022 to get coverage today.

Financial Penalties for Non-Compliance with Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Laws

Certain civil and financial penalties are imposed by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation for companies that fail to have the necessary coverage.

All companies in Georgia with three or more employees, whether they be full-time, part-time, or seasonal, barring certain exceptions, must get Workers’ Compensation insurance. This is a requirement to protect employees in case of a workplace accident that results in injury.

Each time that the Board of Workers’ Compensation in Georgia learns of a company’s non-compliance, it may impose a fine of no less than $500 and no more than $5,000, according to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-18(c). A company might receive multiple fines for non-compliance if it continues without Workers’ Compensation coverage. The Board of Workers’ Compensation might learn of non-compliance if an employee alerts it by filing a report after a workplace accident. When violations are discovered alongside an employee injury, the Board of Workers’ Compensation might increase the damages available to that employee by 10%.

Financial Penalties for Interfering in a Workers’ Comp Claim in Georgia

There are additional consequences for employers that wrongly interfere with a Workers’ Compensation claim in an attempt to get it denied in Georgia. These consequences also come in the form of financial penalties.

Suppose an employer makes misleading statements to an injured worker or an insurer for the purposes of attempting to get a Workers’ Compensation claim denied. In that case, they might receive a financial penalty from the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. The financial penalty for these acts may be no less than $1,000 and no more than $10,000 per violation, according to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-19. A similar penalty applies to workers who fraudulently file Workers’ Compensation claims in Georgia.

Employers might incur a financial penalty for this type of violation if they interfere in any way during the claims process. For example, employers are not allowed to attempt to intimidate an injured worker into not filing a claim. An employer also cannot attempt to undermine a claim for the purpose of keeping their Workers’ Compensation premiums low in Georgia.

Criminal Penalties for Workers’ Comp Violations in Georgia

Suppose employers are made aware of their lack of compliance with Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation requirements and continue to remain uninsured. In that case, they might face criminal penalties in addition to financial penalties.

Any person, whether they be an employer or employee, who intentionally makes misleading or fraudulent statements regarding a Workers’ Compensation claim might face up to 12 months in prison on criminal charges.

Employers that continuously are found to be without coverage and do not take the necessary steps to get insurance might face misdemeanor charges in Georgia. Typically, criminal charges are only levied against an employer if they refuse to get Workers’ Compensation insurance after being informed of their non-compliance by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.

What Agency Enforces Workers’ Compensation Penalties in Georgia?

The Enforcement Division of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation is responsible for investigating insurance violations and fraud by employers and employees in Georgia.

Typically, the Enforcement Division learns of employer Workers’ Compensation violations from employee reports. After receiving a report of non-compliance, the Enforcement Division may contact your company and ask for proof of insurance. If you do this promptly, you will likely not receive any additional financial penalties or other consequences for lack of compliance with Workers’ Compensation requirements.

Likewise, employers can file a report with the Enforcement Division to inform it of possible fraud from employees. Reports of Workers’ Compensation fraud can be sent by mail or email in Georgia.

Will You Be Financially Responsible for an Employee’s Injuries if You Do Not Have Workers’ Comp Insurance in Georgia?

One of the most severe penalties for not having Workers’ Compensation insurance in Georgia does not come from the Board of Workers’ Compensation but from legal action by employees.

Like in many states, injured workers in Georgia cannot file a lawsuit against their employer for damages if their employer has Workers’ Compensation insurance. Failing to maintain coverage can make your company financially responsible for employee injuries following workplace accidents.

This can become very expensive for employers, as they may have to cover medical expenses and lost wages for an injured employee out of pocket.

Avoiding Penalties and Getting Workers’ Comp Insurance in Georgia

There are ways to avoid penalties for not having the necessary insurance for your company in Georgia. The first is by getting Workers’ Compensation insurance.

Finding a Workers’ Compensation policy is the best way to avoid financial or criminal penalties for non-compliance with insurance requirements in Georgia. Our Georgia Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers can get your company a policy quote within a matter of days after receiving the necessary information.

Suppose you were unaware of your Workers’ Compensation requirements prior to receiving a financial penalty from the Board of Workers’ Compensation. In that case, quickly getting coverage can prevent you from incurring additional consequences and fines.

Get Workers’ Comp Insurance in Georgia Today

To get insurance now, call NPN Brokers at (561) 990-3022 and speak with our Georgia workers’ compensation insurance brokers for general contractors today.