Who Is Covered By Florida Workers’ Compensation?
When an employee is hired in Florida, a bargain is implicitly made between them and the employer. The employee waives any right to sue their employer except in rare situations, while in return, the employer agrees to provide workers’ compensation coverage to pay for employees’ medical care in the event of an injury. The majority of Florida employees fall under workers’ compensation laws – yet there are employers who will act unethically and may try to deny their employees the compensation and protection they deserve. If you fear you are in this situation, it is important that you understand your rights.
The Majority Are Covered
Florida state law establishes clear benchmarks for workers’ compensation coverage depending on the industry of one’s employer. For example, employers in the construction industry must carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have 1 or more employees, while those in the agricultural industry must do the same if they have at least 6 regular or 12 seasonal employees, who work more than 30 days in a season, but no more than 45 days per year. Non-construction employers carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have 4 or more employees.
The end result is that at almost any position you accept, you will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance if you are injured on the job, and that insurance will cover both sudden injuries and repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), as long as it can be established that a majority of the harm occurred on the job. This can sometimes be difficult, but if you truly believe that the harm you suffered occurred (or was made worse) at work, it is worth it to try.
One thing that workers must be aware of is potential misclassification, which can deny them workers’ compensation coverage and other benefits they deserve. Sometimes, in order to try and save money, unethical businesses will misclassify employees as independent contractors, which places them in a different position. In Florida, independent contractors are not entitled to workers’ compensation or other benefits that would be extended to an employee.
It can be difficult to determine when you are being misclassified; too often an employee only finds out when they fail to receive benefits to which they are entitled. However, it is important to keep in mind that intentional misclassification is a felony; if you are able to establish that your employer has deprived you of workers’ compensation coverage or other benefits intentionally, you may wind up being awarded significant financial compensation.
Call An Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney
The majority of employees are covered by workers’ compensation, but it is not always so easy to get an employer to follow through on their obligations. If you have questions or concerns about your right to workers’ compensation, contacting an Orlando workers’ compensation attorney from the Hornsby Law Group may be the first step toward getting them answered. Call our offices today for a free consultation.