What are the Penalties for Not Having Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Florida?
Almost every company in the United States must carry workers’ compensation insurance. In Florida, for example, the state mandates that companies over certain employee minimums – six regular employees in agriculture, one in a construction-related field and four for most other companies, must carry workers compensation.
Some companies decide to not carry workers’ compensation insurance and “risk it”. While this option may seem tempting, it can lead to the end of your business. That is because the state punishes violators severely through fines and/or stop-work orders.
Fines for Not Having a Workers’ Comp Policy
State investigators are permitted to conduct a job site inspection at a “reasonable” time. Not only does the investigator have flexibility to look around and speak to your employees whenever they want, but the investigator also has powers to see your business records and issue subpoenas. If an investigator determines an employer is violating the law regarding workers’ compensation insurance, they can assess steep fines.
The fine for not having a policy as required by Florida law is double what that employer would have paid in workers’ comp premiums for the length of time they went without a policy in the preceding two years, or a minimum fee of $1,000, whichever is greater. On top of that, an additional fee of $5,000 is assessed for every worker who has been falsely declared as an independent contractor.
The cost in fees and fines can easily dwarf the price of workers’ compensation insurance, especially if you have someone who finds you an affordable policy.
Stop-Work Orders for Not Having a Workers’ Comp Policy
If an investigator issues a fine, they usually will also issue a stop-work order to ensure your business becomes compliant with the law. A stop-work order is exactly what you think it is, it forces your business to cease all operations at your job site until your company comes into compliance. The loss of productivity can damage your reputation, destroy your bottom line and in some cases, force your business to close permanently. Put NPN Brokers to work for you and we will hunt down a policy that fits your budget. Contact us today by calling 1 (866) 340-9120 or send us a request through this website.
Civil Lawsuit Your Company Might Face Because You Don’t Have Workers’ Compensation
Normally, when an employee is injured during the course and scope of a worker’s employment, that employee must go through the worker’s compensation system. That system is sided toward the business and against the worker, because the system gives an employee certainty. For example, in the worker’s compensation system, there is no pain and suffering, but instead mathematical formula that determines what an employee should receive for a particular injury.
If you don’t have a worker’s comp policy, then an employee is allowed to sue you. In the civil courts, juries decide the amount a plaintiff should be compensated for an injury. Ask any injury plaintiff attorney, they will tell you they always prefer to sue rather than the worker’s comp system, because the verdicts are so much larger.
Additionally, if you don’t have a workers’ compensation policy, you will need to pay for the attorney to defend the case against your employer. So your company can get hit twice, first through a larger settlement and second, through paying for legal counsel
The Workers’ Compensation Coverage You Need at a Price You Can Afford
If you have been issued a stop-work order, facing fines or been burned by a costly employee lawsuit, let NPN Brokers help you find coverage you need at a reasonable price. Our expertise gives us the unique ability to root out deals by working with our providers to find you the right policy. Have the peace of mind you deserve. Contact us today at 1 (866) 340-9120 or submit a request on our website.