What Are the Workers’ Comp Laws for Employers in Florida?
Section 440 of Florida’s State Code pertains to workers’ comp requirements in Florida. According to this statute, businesses must get workers’ comp for employees if they employ a certain number of workers and do work in certain industries. This statute also determines which injuries are covered by workers’ comp policies in Florida, the length of statutes of limitations, the consequences that companies can face if they fail to get policies for employees, and more. Continue reading to learn more about Florida’s laws regarding workers’ comp insurance, what it means for your company, and how the Florida workers’ compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers can help your company find a policy.
Florida Employer Workers’ Compensation Laws + Statutes
Florida’s laws about workers’ comp insurance can be found in Chapter 440 of Florida’s State Code. This chapter is long and contains a lot of information. The most important parts—those that are most likely to be relevant to your company—can be found below.
Who Is Required to Get Workers’ Compensation Insurance
According to Florida’s workers’ comp laws, employees that do work in certain industries are subject to worker’s compensation employee number requirements. A business that is not in the construction industry or the agricultural industry must get workers’ comp insurance if they employ four or more people.
Businesses that do work in the agricultural industry must get workers’ comp insurance if they employ 6 or more people year-round or 12 or more people seasonally (a seasonal worker is defined as a worker that works more than 30 days within one season but less than 45 days within a calendar year.) Companies can expect to face penalties for not having worker’s compensation insurance when required to by law.
The most stringent workers’ comp laws pertain to businesses that do work in the construction industry. Businesses in the construction industry must get workers’ comp insurance if they employ at least one person, including owners, corporate officers, and LLC members. Contractors and subcontractors are considered to be employees in all industries.
Florida’s administrative code allows for certain exceptions to these requirements. Some businesses can waive the requirement to have workers’ comp insurance for sole proprietors, corporate officers, or LLC members. These employees can hold the company liable for injuries, however. The Florida State Code also states that employees that work in industries that have federal acts to protect them are not required to be covered by workers’ comp policies; these industries include those covered by the Jones Act, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act, and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
Wage Replacement for Employees in Florida
When employees file for workers’ comp benefits, they are only able to receive certain types of compensation. One of these benefits is compensation for medical costs, including stays in the hospital, visits with physicians, prescription medications, ambulance rides, and physical therapy. The other benefit that employees can receive through their workers’ compensation insurance is replacement for the wages they’ve lost.
Employees cannot receive wages that are higher than their average weekly wage; this amount is capped at $939. If an employee gets temporary total disability through their workers’ comp policy, they can receive 66.66% of their average weekly wage. Employees that have suffered severe injuries can get 80% of their weekly wages.
Types of Injuries Covered by Workers’ Comp Insurance
Florida’s laws state that workers’ comp insurance must provide benefits to pay for the cost of injuries or death that happen as a result of work performed in the scope of employment. In general, any injury that an employee suffers while working is eligible for compensation for medical costs and a partial recovery of lost wages.
However, there are exceptions. Employees cannot receive workers’ comp benefits if they were injured while going to or coming from work. They are also ineligible to receive benefits if their injury happened during a recreational or social outing that was organized by the employer or if the injury happened while the employee was deviating from the normal course of their employment, such as leaving the workplace without permission.
Injuries are eligible for compensation through workers’ comp benefits if the injury was sustained while performing work-related duties. An injury will not be covered by workers’ compensation if the employee inflicted the injury on themselves, suffered the injury while committing an illegal act, attempted to deceive or defraud their employer with their injury, or were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of their injury.
Statutes of Limitations
The Florida State Code also addresses the statute of limitations that employees are subject to following their injuries. Starting on the day they were injured (or the date that they notice their injury), employees have 30 days to report their injury to their employer; they then have up to two years to file for benefits for their injury through their worker’s compensation policy.
Get the Right Workers’ Comp Policy for Your Company Today
If you are a business that operates in Florida, it’s likely that Florida’s workers’ compensation laws affect you in some way. To learn more about how these workers’ comp laws could impact your business or to get a quote on a workers’ comp policy, get in touch with NPN Brokers today. We can help you understand the workers’ comp requirements in Florida and can help you find a policy that works for you. Call (866) 340-9120.