What If a Company Does Not Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Florida?
If a business in Florida fails to get workers’ compensation policies for their employees, they make themselves susceptible to penalties. These penalties can hurt profits for years to come. It’s important for businesses to get workers’ comp. coverage as soon as possible to maintain their ability to do business in Florida. Finding good workers’ compensation insurance in Florida is easy with the help of NPN Brokers, who can provide businesses with quotes on policies almost instantly. Keep reading to learn more about the consequences that can come from not getting a workers’ compensation policy in Florida and how businesses can get a policy with the help of NPN Brokers.
Penalties for Not Having Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Florida
Businesses can face severe penalties for not having workers’ compensation insurance in Florida. These penalties only apply to companies that are legally required by the Florida Administrative Code to carry workers’ compensation insurance – there are different workers’ compensation requirements based on the number of employees and the type of industry they work in.
The State of Florida employs investigators to look into the status of a business’ workers’ compensation policies and check whether they are complying with the state’s requirements. They have the authority to inquire into businesses’ workers’ compensation policies by speaking with employees, requesting business records, and issuing subpoenas at any time. If your business does not have the required workers’ compensation insurance, please realize that you are susceptible to inquiries by state investigators at any time. If you are found to be noncompliant, you might face any of the following penalties:
Fines for not having a workers’ compensation policy are either double what the employer should have been paying in policy premiums or a minimum fine of $1,000. Even with minimum fines, the cost of not having a workers’ comp. policy is much more than the cost of the policy itself.
Businesses may be issued a stop-work order if they did not get a workers’ compensation policy when they should have. They could also be issued a stop-work order if they understated or concealed payroll of misrepresented employee duties in an attempt to evade the requirement to get a workers’ compensation policy. Stop-work orders are public records, so anyone can see if one has been issued against you.
After a stop-work order has been issued, a business must cease all of its business operations until they come into compliance. If the company conducts any business operations after the stop-work order has been issued, there are additional penalties. Businesses can be charged with a third-degree felony and fined $1,000 per day for each day that they continue violating the order.
To get a stop-work order released, Florida companies must do two things. First, they must become compliant with workers’ compensation law by getting workers’ compensation policies for their employees. Alternatively, they could enter into an agreement with a staffing company that will get workers’ comp. insurance for their employees or they can obtain an exemption. Second, companies must secure a down payment of $1,000 towards their final penalty.
The final penalty that a company will have to pay to release its stop-work order will be calculated according to the information provided in the company’s business records. Payment plans for penalties are often available. Businesses that have received a stop-work order for the first time can reduce their penalties by getting coverage within 28 calendar days of the date the stop-work order was issued.
Injured employees may be able to sue their employers for compensation for expenses related to their injuries if the employers do not have workers’ compensation policies for them. A typical workers’ comp. policy both protects employers against lawsuits from employees and ensures that workers will get compensated for injuries regardless of whether they were at fault for the injury. Without a workers’ compensation policy, employers are open to lawsuits from employees.
When an injured employee sues their employer for the injuries they sustained while working, they can get compensation for not only medical costs and lost wages but also for pain and suffering. In some cases, they can also recover punitive damages. The amount that employers pay in lawsuit settlements with injured employees is often much more than they would have paid for a workers’ compensation policy.
Charges for Failing to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Florida
Employers in Florida should be aware of other related offenses their businesses could commit when failing to carry workers’ comp. coverage. The most severe is the offense of attempting to claim that an employee is actually an independent contractor so that they don’t have to get a workers’ compensation policy for them. Doing so can result in a $5,000 fine for each employee that has been misclassified. It is also a type of insurance fraud, which can result in jail time.
Other offenses, some of which are felonies could also be charged:
- Making false statements with the intention of lowering premiums
- Failing to report workplace injuries
- Retaliating against an employee that reports their injuries
- Taking employees’ pay to put it towards their workers’ compensation premiums.
If the monetary value of your violation is less than $20,000, it may be considered a third-degree felony; if the value is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000, it may be a second-degree felony; and if the violation is valued at $100,000 or more, it could constitute a first-degree felony.
Florida Workers’ Comp. Insurance Brokers for Companies Without Insurance
The workers’ compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers believe that Florida businesses should have access to good workers’ comp. coverage. Businesses don’t have to fear the consequences of not having a workers’ compensation insurance policy if they use NPN Brokers’ services. Call us today or visit us online for a workers’ compensation quote. Our number is (866) 340-9120.
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