Workers’ compensation is a system of no-fault insurance that provides monetary and medical benefits to employees (or their survivors) for work-related injuries, diseases and deaths.
Florida workers’ compensation law defines employer responsibilities in the workers’ compensation program. The Florida Division of Workers' Compensation is responsible for monitoring compliance with these requirements.
What Are An Employer's Responsibilities?
Compliance might actually be easier than you think. Florida employers are required to:
- Carry workers' compensation insurance (if their business qualifies)
- Keep up-to-date records
- Post required notices
- Report employee injuries
1. Carry Workers' Compensation Insurance
In general, every Florida employer that has four or more employees (full-time or part-time) must secure workers' compensation coverage. However, employers in the agriculture and construction industries have special coverage requirements.
Who Is an Employee?
When determining whether an employer must buy workers' compensation insurance, an employee is anyone who is paid to perform work. An employee can include:
- Aliens and minors
- Corporate officers
- Workers who receive pay from a construction contractor as subcontractors (unless they have their own workers' compensation coverage)
- Independent contractors, sole proprietors and partners of a partnership who work in the construction industry
Buying Work Comp Coverage
To satisfy the coverage requirements, an employer must do one of the following:
- Buy a workers’ compensation insurance policy (from a private insurance company licensed to do business in the state)
- Get authorization to self-insure
- Participate in a group self-insurance fund
- Apply for coverage from the Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association
2. Keep Up-to-Date Records
Employers must maintain records that could help the DWC in an investigation. Employers must keep these records up to date and maintain them for at least three years.
Required records include:
- Business account records
- Check and cash disbursement journals
- Contracts with general contractors, subcontractors, independent contractors and employment leasing companies
- Documents that may assist to establish an independent contractor’s status
- Employee leasing company, labor pool and temporary labor service records
- Employee wage payment documents (W-2 forms, 1099 forms and individual tax statements)
- Employment contracts and other documents that describe terms of employment
- External and internal audit documents
- Proof of insurance (or certificates of exemption)
- The employer’s business name, registration, business form and Federal Employer Identification Number
- The employer’s occupational and trade licenses, certifications and competency cards
- State employment and unemployment reports
- Subcontractor invoices
- Tax records and all schedules filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Workers’ compensation certificates of insurance or certificates of exemption, along with notices of cancellation, non-renewal, reinstatement, etc.
3. Post Required Notices
To stay compliant with state law, Florida employers required to carry work comp must display a workers' compensation poster in conspicuous places in the workplace.
Employers that are not required to carry work comp are also post a notice in the workplace that clearly states that they do not provide workers' compensation coverage or benefits.
4. Report Employee InjuriesAn employer who knows about an employee's work-related injury or disease must report it to the insurance company within seven days.
Employers must also maintain records of any work-related injuries or illnesses employees report.
For more information on workers’ compensation laws in Florida: