Workers Compensation in Florida: What You Need to Know

The state of Florida requires that employers carry worker’s compensation insurance to cover partial wage-replacement benefits as well as medical benefits for employees who are injured in a work related accident. The program is administered by the Division of Worker’s Compensation a branch of the Department of Financial Services of Florida. There are two sets of rules that define the amount of coverage an employee must carry: non-construction industry rules and construction industry rules.

Regulations

In the state of Florida, general companies that have four or more employees are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. However, those who employ construction workers must obtain such coverage even if they have only one employee. Farmers who have twelve or more seasonal employees or five or more nonseasonal employees must provide coverage if the workers’ employment lasts thirty days or more.

Employee Responsibilities

Injured employees are required to inform the appropriate person in authority of their injury within thirty days or their claim will likely be denied. Employees are also responsible to perform their job duties in a safe and responsible manner, and therefore do their part to prevent the possibility of on the job injuries. If the job requires the employee to use specific safety equipment, he or she must not arbitrarily decide that such equipment is not necessary.

Employer Responsibilities

In the state of Florida, worker’s compensation coverage is paid for by the employer and no employee contribution is required. Employers are strictly prohibited by the laws of the state from asking an injured worker to pay for any part of his or her care following an injury. They are also prohibited from garnishing the employee’s wages after he or she has returned to work in order to compensate themselves for the costs associated with the incident.

Additional Considerations

Florida worker’s compensation insurance does not provide coverage for injuries that occur while an employee was intoxicated with alcohol or otherwise under the influence of any legal or illegal substance that could result in impaired motor skills or reduced cognitive function. Both employees and employers should have a thorough understanding of their rights and responsibilities regarding worker’s compensation insurance under Florida state law. It is never wise to base decisions on assumptions concerning how much or what type of coverage to obtain. If these aspects are confusing to an employer, he or she should seek the advice of a professional insurance agent for further clarification.

In the Tampa Bay area, a businesses can acquire a Worker’s Compensation policy through Mid Florida Insurance Professionals (813) 962-3082 and find exellent rates on all commercial insurance plans.